- Anne Waiguru is the former Cabinet Secretary for Devolution and Planning
- She was also the centre of controversy regarding the National Youth Service saga.
If you are not in (or have not been to) Kirinyaga during this electioneering period, you may probably not understand what I am about to say next…but it is ok – you’ll get it as we go!
In the past one-year, Anne Mumbi Waiguru has shown a side of her that many people did not know - a soft-spoken, down-to-earth and quite interactive and charming person - demystification of a popular misconception peddled in the media overtime.
From a little-known civil servant in the Ministry of Finance in the Grand Coalition government, Anne Waiguru has risen through the ranks, battled political stigmatisation and selective condemnation from antagonists of the Jubilee administration, and came out stronger than ever - bruised but still raring to go.
See…Waiguru is not known to shy away from a challenge; that is why when the opportunity to run for the Kirinyaga governor’s seat arose, she took it up; spiritedly I must add.
The popular opinion at the time was that Waiguru was just a regular “office girl” who would not survive a day out in the politics arena, and with trumped up allegation propagated against her many placed their bets against her in the Jubilee part nominations.
But she put up an impeccable campaign, won the hearts of the residents and clinched the Jubilee ticket - with over 100,000 votes (60,000 votes more than second-placed contestant).
But what has made Waiguru such a darling to the residents of Kirinyaga to the extent that songs have been composed in in praise of her person?
Throughout her campaign, Waiguru has shown the residents that she is just like them, a common Kirinyagan who wants what is best for the county.
Many have been charmed, not just by her allure (hence the nickname Minji Minji), but also her stellar development record as Devolution Cabinet Secretary.
That, added to her personal interaction with the residents has warmed people’s hearts. Everywhere she goes, Waiguru can be seen shaking hands with men, fist-bumping with the youth, hugging women, and exchanging niceties here and there.
Her persona and genuine interest in addressing the needs of the people of Kirinyaga was captured in the latest polls by TIFA which gave her a lead of 55% against Karua’s 35%; though with increased visits in Ndia, Kirinyaga Central, Mwea and Gichugu in the past weeks, this percentage may change.
In the polls, most residents said they would vote for Anne Waiguru because she was the right candidate to effect changes in how things were run in Kirinyaga County while others pegged their choice on “her experience and good leadership skills” and past development record as Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry for Devolution.
The respondents also stated that Waiguru understood their problems, has a great personality and has a vision for creating employment for the youth.
And after a long zealous campaign, it is clear that Waiguru has not only won the hearts of the people of Kirinyaga, but their votes too!