A few months after the former Cabinet Secretary for Devolution and Planning Ms. Anne Waiguru resigned, CORD politicians suddenly went on a break from the continuous barrage of innuendos they hurled at her. The last days of her reign as a cabinet secretary were not smooth at all. She was stripped and left bare for the world to see and incriminated in the public sphere as being corrupt and unfit to hold public office. Her family was pulled into the situation and her private life made public by the media that failed to verify the information they posted about her.
Of the entire outbursts directed at Ms. Anne Waiguru, none took centre stage like the allegations that she had a secret love affair. I first heard this narrative from CORD politicians before the media and other bloggers took up the issue and blew it out of proportion. In fact, Ms. Anne Waiguru lodged a defamation case against two CORD politicians for allegations they made at a public rally which were tied to this concocted narrative. In her defense, Ms. Waiguru says the allegations have brought innumerable anguish to her and her family. She is seeking compensation for the damage these concocted allegations brought to her and her family.
These allegations cannot be taken lightly. The sudden silence with which CORD has taken on the issue since Ms. Waiguru resigned shows that they were not at all concerned about corruption at NYS but about stripping the dignity off Anne Waiguru and leave her naked for the entire world to see. They hoped that their sexist rants would eventually force Ms. Waiguru to resign despite there being insufficient evidence at the time pointing out that she was in any way involved in or benefitted from the massive corruption at NYS.
The concocted claims by CORD politicians that Ms. Waiguru had a secret lover are not only sexist but they also amount to bullying. Therefore, CORD politicians bullied Ms. Waiguru out of office. When you look closely, she did not resign out of free will but out of intimidation. Her citing ill health as a reason for her resignation was only a reason to conceal any pain she might have been going through. Some might call it an act, but a recent interview by a media house that showed her calm, composed and recollected goes to show that she was moving on from all the bullying, intimidation and sexual harassment that she received from CORD politicians, the media and the public opposed to her.
It is a worrying trend of how sex is widely used as a tool to intimidate women holding influential positions in politics and government. The late Ms. Wangari Maathai faced such harassment from the Moi regime for more than a decade in her resolve to fight for environmental conservation. Numerous other women have faced the same butcher’s knife. Their success in both fields is attributed, not to their hard work, but to their alleged male sponsors holding influential positions in government. What men call ‘connections’ amounts to ‘sponsors’ when it comes to women. It is through hard work (or connections) that Ms. Waiguru earned her ministerial post, but alleging that she exchanged sexual favours to earn her position amounts to contempt and tarnishes her record in the public service and the recognition she has received locally and globally for her sacrifice and contributions.