Since she decided to leave government, Gichugu MP Martha Karua has been on everyone’s lips. From those who see her as a saviour to Kenya’s many problems to those who now call her a pretender and opportunist – Karua has made most conversations.
I find all sentiments leveled against the former minister as an honest and truthful summary of the ‘iron lady’ of Kenyan politics. Those who have read me previously will tell you that I have never been her fan but this is not to say that I do not appreciate the manner of which she has managed to execute her duties.
Yes I find Karua a fighter who has always defended whatever she believes is right. But I also find Karua a pretender who together with others in the Narc administration blocked minimum reforms that could have gone a great length in averting last year’s post election chaos.
However, since all of us have our weaknesses, I am willing to give the former minister some benefit of doubt. Not to say that I full agree that she is our best bet but may be the better one.
At the Kinyozi last weekend I could not help but realise how much faith Kenyans are placing on Karua especially with the instability that has rocked the grand coalition. My barbers were furious over a Sunday Nation report that described how President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga were till being babied by Kofi Annan – one year on.
They made it known that they were very unhappy with the status quo and the current administration to them was a total failure. From the ranting, I could tell that Karua had at least 4 votes if these barbers will not have changed their mind before 2012.
There is something about Karua that has endeared her to Kenyans. Something that is giving her an upper hand as compared to her other likely 2012 rivals. Wherever I have had people speak of Karua and the future of this country, one thing has stood out, Kenyans have placed a lot of hope on her.
I have one specific concern in my humble opinon that would make me vote for President Karua come 2012. She does not belong to any dynasty and may be the Kenya’s bet to break the cycle of the ‘right family’ in Kenyan politics.
Uhuru Kenyatta, Gideon Moi, Raila Odinga all belong to the ‘right families’. The rest who are eying the presidency, George Saitoti and William Ruto have close associations with the ‘right families’.
Other than Karua, I can bet on anything that none of the other potential presidents have the will to recover from their own families whatever wealth that they may have acquired illegally or otherwise from public coffers. None of them will be ready to go for the other ‘right family’ and their associates.
It may be too early to tell but if Kenyans went to the ballot today… Karua may be that mother that the country has lacked in over 40 years.