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Time for Kawira Mwangaza, Murega Baichu to separate bedroom from boardroom

Governor Kawira Mwangaza and her husband Murega Barechu at their wedding. [File, Standard]

A former maidservant now matrons not only a household, but close to two million people in Meru County. In a story that espouses the benevolence of providence, and I must admit, admirable determination, Governor Kawira Mwangaza joins the list of women history makers in the hall of Kenyan politics.

Her county and the country adulated their felicitations and goodwill over her big political win. Two days after she took oath of office, her husband Mr Murega Baichu shared photos from the propitious occasion with an allusive caption: “Governor Kawira Mwangaza held her Bible on the right hand while I Murega placed my left hand on the Constitution, and she took oath as required by the law. Kando yake sibanduki!! Itawabidi mahasidi kuzoea!!(Always bound by her side! Nay-mongers can eat cake!”)

Now, Kenyan men have a reputation for mendacity, prevaricating and reneging on their word, but not the Fedora donning artist. Wherever Kawira is, he is inches away from her breath, even her shadow comes a distant third.

He is also his wife’s blogger, aide, bootleg bodyguard, emcee, head of entertainment and she recently decorated his signature hat with more plumes - Meru Youth Service’s patron as well as ambassador for Meru hustlers.

Mrs Murega has always exploited every chance to fawn at her husband as her pillar over the years, recounting their yester struggles before lady luck came with her charm. And we comprehend it, trust me, we get it. In a world inundated with spinsters who go home to stroke cats and toss and turn alone in bed, we understand why she is besotted to and feels beholden to her man. She has what other women, perhaps who vaunt bigger portfolios than her, waste tears praying for - a devoted partner.

However, Madam governor, while we gush at your Nollywood kind of love tale, you are an elected public officer, not an influencer or socialite courting antics and rabble rousing.

Mr Murega believes he is painting the canvass of a supportive husband, but what the world sees is a meddling man in the ranks of the whipped and cuckolded fruitcake husbands. Njuri Cheke needs to nudge their son that a man perpetually tied to his wife’s wrapper soon loses his dignity, street cred and his cojones.

Perhaps it’s brutal to expect any woman in public life to exercise agency in 2022. After all, women are such victims, aren’t we? If the script from contemporary feminism is anything to go by, the poor dears have suffered since the inception of life and should be left alone.

I am a woman, but trust me, I find my fellows’ colossal need for special treatment and lowered standards even in political leadership, risible. The rest of humanity must tiptoe around so our delicate feelings aren’t trampled on. Anything short of pandering to our feelings with reassured lies is sexist.

Oh, here comes the cries of double standards, and whataboutism. “But Aoko, aren’t spouses of male governors often accompanying their husbands to functions?” Well, in this part of the world, women go where men lead, and not the other way around.

The problem with sacrificing our mores and sense on the altar of modern culture is that men have forgotten how to be men. A woman looks to her husband for stability and security - not as her babysitter.

Watching Kawira deteriorate with such frightening fecundity - at one time, the darling of the masses - into an incarnation of succubus is heartbreaking. She recently walked into a heaving county assembly where the atmosphere pitched and swelled at her sight like that of a baying mob in a Roman arena. Instead of sneering, snarling, and booing aggressively at the anticipated tattle, the MCAs staged a walk out in protest of her hoity-toity manner of running things.

She responded by bundling them out of a WhatsApp group, like a toddler throwing her toys from the cradle. Her continuous cheap jabs at the MCAs are nothing but low energy gibberish and baloney. It is akin to aiming a water pistol at your detractors to draw blood.

And when she is not frothing and forming with righteous indignation, she is basking in a delightful lack of self-awareness. Aside from her husband, EACC has put her in the crosshairs for allegedly employing her two sisters as personal assistant and bodyguard.

As the country watches the circus in Meru unfurl, perhaps it behooves some of us, self-knighted revilers of folly to jolt Madam into reality. Women have and continue to surmount a potpourri of bottlenecks to get elective positions. The onus is on those who have conquered to slay the stereotype that we are incapable of handling the positions.

Kawira's improbable ascent to office notwithstanding, the governor and MCAs should bridle their egos, cease squabbling, and face the many issues they were elected to tackle. While the county descends into a teeming hive of dissent, Kawira’s administration risks being shunned by voters and investors. Live up to your name Mwangaza, be a beacon of light. Many, including women nursing political aspirations, look up to you. 

As for Murega, there’s a dearth in Mugithi genre, now that Samidoh is touring abroad, fill the gap. Take your guitar to the stage, away from serious official functions, then wait for Madam at home, massage her feet after a long day in heels, and listen as she unwinds. But most fundamentally, let your romance remain in the bedroom, away from boardrooms.