Ngirici: Why I'm giving Ruto and UDA a wide berth

Kirinyaga Woman Representative Wangui Ngirici during a past funeral service in Meru on October 7, 2020. [Olivia Murithi, Standard]

Kirinyaga Woman Representative Wangui Ngirici has revealed why she has not been attending Deputy President William Ruto's political rallies.

The woman rep has of late given Dr Ruto's United Democratic Alliance rallies a wide berth after the entry of Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru in the DP's camp. 

Speaking to The Standard, Ngirichi revealed that she is in the process of self-introspection on her commitment to Ruto’s presidential bid and his UDA party.

Her decision to go slow is evidenced by her no-show in Ruto’s political tours in Embu, Meru, Tharaka Nithi, Muranga, and Kericho where she seemed to have been replaced by Waiguru, her political arch-rival.

For the first time since her political nemesis joined Ruto's UDA, Ngirici said she is studying the turn of events before making her next political move.

She confidently noted she is sure that her people will ultimately follow her since she was elected to lead and not to be swayed by euphoria ‘like Waiguru’.

“Politics is like a chess game and you must study it well. I have retreated to study it carefully before making my next political move. I’m also giving space for newcomers to enjoy and that is why you won’t see me in Ruto’s political meetings,” Ngirici told The Standard on phone.

The county MP also disclosed that during her retreat and self-evaluation period, she will be looking for what is good for her politically and also for her people.

“I’m not like those people who listen to the ground for euphoria. My name Wangui denotes a lead choirmaster, and as a leader, I have a responsibility to candidly face my people and tell them what is good for them,” she said.

While accusing Waiguru of being her doppelganger, Ngirici said even when she makes a bold political move, the governor would still purport to be listening to the ground and follow her.

“I popularised UDA party in Kirinyaga and convinced my people to join the party and support Ruto’s presidential bid and it happened. I also led them in opposing the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) and they agreed with me," she said.

Ngirici and Waiguru will be facing off in next year’s gubernatorial race and the former seemed to have had an upper hand of the UDA party and a close relationship with Ruto, but the governor’s entry in DP's camp seems to have complicated her political arithmetic.

Waiguru has maintained that she is in UDA to stay and that she will not be humiliated to leave the outfit, saying it was not a local party but a national one.

She spoke after rowdy youth hurled stones in her event where she said she too would recruit members to join UDA.

"Ruto has been traversing the country, the party has all tribes not just Kirinyaga people. Ruto has been in Tharaka Nithi, Embu, Meru and he will be in Kirinyaga next week. We do not need divisions," she added. 

Despite being in the same political faction for a long time, Waiguru has not been getting along with Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho and during the preparations of Mashujaa Day celebrations held in Mwea, the PS teamed up with Ngirichi to hold peace rallies while the governor was a lone ranger.