A women’s leaders conference convened to rally countrywide support for female legislators in the next general election turned chaotic yesterday when a senior government official asked the participants to support Jubilee.
Chaos erupted at the meeting at Nairobi’s Bomas of Kenya when Gender Affairs Principal Secretary Zeinab Hussein attempted to convince the more than 4, 000 women participants drawn from across the country to vote push for President Uhuru Kenyatta’s re-election.
Thereafter, the meeting turned into name calling and a shouting match as the women leaders threw the agenda aside to engage in a political party affiliation duel.
Things worsened when the PS asked Jubilee women supporters in the room to dance while ululating prompting those in support of the National Supper Alliance to do the same.
As the two camps clashed, Ms Hussein stopped reading her speech and hurriedly left the venue as the women attacked each other verbally with the organisers desperately trying to calm them down.
Some of the women claimed that the convention dubbed ‘Ni Mama” had been been turned into a vote-hunting ground by senior government officials.
With things almost getting out of hand, Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua intervened to bring back order, condemning the clash and urged women to avoid tribal based disagreements.
“We are the ones who get married to other tribes. We should know better than to take tribal sides,” she said.
She challenged women leaders across the country to run for political seats warning that noboby would give them leadership on a silver platter.
Karua was backed by Kisumu Deputy Governor Ruth Odinga who warned women to avoid being divided along political party lines.
“We should be planning on how to get all the women aspirants into their various positions. In fatc we should be holding one another’s hand and abandon these small political games of division by party lines.”
The meeting had been expected to come up with a political movement to sensitise women on the need to vie for elective positions .
The chairman of the National Women Steering Committee Daisy Amdany urged women across the country to ensure that female aspirants captured half of the seats on August 8.
She said the movement had been formed after parliament shot down a Bill that sought to operationalise the two thirds gender rule that would help more women get into leadership.
“We know that Kenya will achieve its aspirations if it taps the full potential of half of its population which comprises of women,” Amdany said.
“We want to offer leadership because genuine democracy is when all sections of the population participate equally in the country and hold political power.”
She said if women united, they would fortify their position in providing visionary leadership and solutions to challenges that Kenya is facing.