By Mwaura Samora
NAIROBI, KENYA: Nominated Senator Elizabeth Ongoro’s office is on the seventh floor of KICC. But security guards mistook ‘Ongoro’ for ‘Ongera’ and led us to fellow senator Janet Ongera’s office on the fifth floor.
The sharp stares and stern replies from the secretaries immediately jerked us to the realization that there is no love lost between the two.
Just to jog your memory, the duo are said, at least from media reports, to have engaged in a cat fight during an Orange Democratic Movement’s (ODM) party retreat in Naivasha last April.
The beef was over who was to be the party’s Chief Whip for ODM.
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It was not the first time Ongoro – the first assistant minister to deliver a baby in office – was hitting the headlines.
In September 2011, allegations of domestic violence against her husband, Ferdinand Masha Kenga, who was said to have been hospitalized following a bitter confrontation surfaced.
Kenga, however, denied he had been battered.
Then there were the nomination battles with former Starehe legislator Margaret Wanjiru over who was to be the party flag bearer for the Nairobi Senatorial race.
In a candid interview with The Nairobian, the controversial politician spoke on a wide range of issues.
“I was disappointed because the primaries were greatly flawed and mismanaged by some bad elements inside the party, which eventually cost us the general elections,” the former Kasarani MP said. “I was approached and offered Sh250 million to abandon ODM but because I believe in the party’s vision for Kenya, I decided to remain firmly behind our presidential candidate”.
Ongoro is vying for Secretary General in ODM in the upcoming elections to sanitise the party and ensure there is no repeat of such fiasco.
The mother of four comes across as simple, straight to the point, uncluttered.
She dons no jewelry save for a brownish beaded chain to march what she refers to as a “Maendeleo ya Wanawake” dress of the same colour.
Her office walls are devoid of decorations besides the portrait of President Uhuru Kenyatta smiling at us while the furniture is basic — a documents-filled wardrobe, clean bare executive office table, a sofa set and two chairs.