Karua anger could ruin her presidential dreams

The resignation of Justice Minister Martha Karua from the Grand Coalition has sparked off a frenzy of realignments that will rock the political scene for weeks, if not months, to come and will likely impact the Kibaki succession.

Martha Wangari Karua

Martha Wangari Karua

It has been obvious for some time that Karua is not happy with her erstwhile political ally, President Kibaki. The two were together for most of the 1990s with Karua a legislator in Kibaki’s Democratic Party. Karua’s disillusion with Kibaki stems from his less-than-enthusiastic reception to her presidential bid.

Karua has stuck with Kibaki through thick and thin even back when he had been written off as a potential successor to former President Daniel arap Moi. Karua moved with Kibaki to the National Alliance for Change (NAC) back in 2001, which later evolved into the National Rainbow Coalition (NARC).

After the disputed 2007 elections, Karua made a mark for herself by engaging in wholehearted defence for President Mwai Kibaki. At one time, the United States and European envoys branded her, “an obstacle to peace” and threatened to blacklist her from ever visiting their countries. Such was her hardline stance in Kibaki’s defence that she worn many enemies across the country. Kibaki went on to keep the Presidency but had to share power with electoral rival, Raila Odinga.

It was from this experience that Karua began believing that she was cut out for bigger things. In her characteristic arrogant style, she dismissed Kibaki’s handlers as “cowards” for not coming out in his defence during the bitter post election talks that led to the formation of the Grand Coalition.

Karua abrasively announced that she was the only “man” around Kibaki. These statements did not endear her to the old, rich men around Kibaki and who collectively represent Kenya’s ruling elite.

Her announcement that she was contesting the next General Elections did not rouse the excitement she expected, especially from President Kibaki. By then, the President was beginning to look at Professor George Saitoti and Uhuru Kenyatta as potential successors. This led Karua to wonder aloud whether Kenyan politics had become the preserve of a few families, what is referred to as dynastic politics.

With time, Kibaki has settled on his godson, Uhuru, for grooming into the Presidency. Saitoti, in his usual style, has decided to lie low like an antelope but Karua explicitly stated how she felt about Kibaki’s choice.

Amidst criticism of premature campaigns, Karua boisterously announced that it was her democratic right to traverse the country soliciting votes. Even international chief mediator, Koffi Annan, criticized Karua for beginning presidential campaigns five years too early.

Last week’s appointment of judges without her knowledge despite being Justice Minister convinced Karua that she was no longer the favorite girl of the Kibaki club. She has chosen to quit and play her game openly without the shackles of collective cabinet responsibility. Whether this will help her presidential bid or sink her ambitions remains to be seen.

It is worth noting that former cabinet Minister in the Moi government, Simeon Nyachae, aroused great excitement when he resigned to fulfill his presidential ambitions. Three years later, in the 2002 elections, Nyachae could only garner less than 500,000 votes nationally.

Karua must be praying hard that a similar fate does not befall her.

UPDATE:

Karua ally, Danson Mungatana, resigns from government.

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3 Responses

  1. Karua will be fine . All she has to do is stay away from ODM and not take on Uhuru Kenyatta head on . If she takes the higher ground against uhuru treating him like a nobody she will be home free . I think people are underestimating karua. Central Kenya is behind her because Kibaki/Uhuru 4got about IDPs and the rest of ordinary kyuk folk. Add her reformist agenda Karua is headed to the big house

    If she stays away from the maize thieves and Oil thieves she is going all the way . This is not the time to be associating with criminals on both sides

  2. You’re right Muigwithania, Karua has to take her game to a higher level. She doesn’t have the money to take Uhuru head-on but she can fight along the lines of political ideology, which Uhuru lacks. She should also avoid ODM without necessarily antagonizing it, because sooner or later, Kenyans will have to face the reality of what ODM really is. Karua should not go down and fight in the gutter, where everybody is but should rise above it.

    Most importantly, she should think long-term. She’s young enough to still be in the race 10 years from now when the current breed of cruel, corrupt politicians will have left the scene.

  3. THIS SEAT IS LYK A BEAUTIFUL LADY ON WHICH MANY LADS SET THEIR EYES. WHOEVER WINS HER HEART ALSO SHOULD BE READY 2 CARRY HER BURDEN (BEING HATED, ENVIED,LACK OF CONFIDENCE IN U….).LET HON.KARUA APPLY ALL HER EFFORT WITHOUT GIVING~UP AND ONE OF THESE FINE DAYS, SHE’LL SMILE WITH TRIUMPH.

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