The Mountain Times :- We've Got you covered
Karua’s long journey to stardom
Sunday, 15 May 2022 21:00 pm
The Mountain Times :- We've Got you covered

The Mountain Times :- We've Got you covered

Martha Wangari Karua was little known in the political  circles  before the 1992 general elections .

The elections which opened new horizons for the Nairobi University law  graduate  were the first one after the country reverted to multiparty democracy .

During the elections Kenyans knew her as Martha Njoka but soon after joining the National Assembly on  the then popular DP ticket in Mt Kenya region reverted to her maiden name  Martha Karua .

She had been known to be among the political activists at the  time who wanted political change   under the cover of  Kenya League of Women  Voters and whose activities were in most cases frustrated by the then Kanu operatives.

Those in the League included  Ida Odinga  and the likes of  Martha Koome the now Chief Justice .

On entering elective politics in 1992 , Karua went to  the Ford Asili primaries with her  neighbour Geoffrey Kariithi since both hail  from Kimunye  village within Kabare Ward   of  Kirinyaga East Sub- County (Gichugu).

On being outsmarted by Kariithi at the primaries ,  Karua received  a boost from former  Cooperative Bank of Kenya Bernard Kathanga ( now deceased), and  on a popular DP ticket within mt Kenya region , Kariithi who was defending his seat became fodder  for  Karua .

After flooring the giant which had not only a political muscle but well-endowed financially   , Karua’s   star  started to shine across the country .

For the next four consecutive general elections Karua dominated   the Gichugu politics   by ‘thoroughly thrashing ‘who dared  oppose her .

She  also added another feather   on her cap after she was deeply involved in the then IPPG   consultations which ushered in minimum constitutional changes  before the 2002 general elections .

Karua  who earned  herself the alias name of Iron Lady was appointed Cabinet Minister by president Mwai Kibaki who had won the presidency  at the time .

She headed the Water docket for a while after which she was shifted  to the powerful Constitutional and Justice docket replacing Imenti South MP Kiraitu Murungi.

Karua , a political dynamite surprised Kenyans after she resigned midstream her ministerial position on matters principle.

“You can’t provide me with a Jembe ,then tie my hands and expect me to till the land . I can’t be in this situation and am tendering my resignation, “she told a rally at the Embu stadium at the time.

And true to her threats the following Monday  Karua tendered her resignation letter to Kibaki who elevated the then junior minister and Ndia MP Njeru Githae to a full cabinet minister .

Upon resignation Karua kept a low profile until 2013 when she declared she was vying for the presidency to the amusement of many Kenyans.

Unfortunately she lost to Uhuru Kenyatta and  remained in  political oblivion only  resurface during the 2017 general elections  seeking for the position of the Kirinyaga Governor  which was held by Joseph Ndathi .

She however lost to Anne Waiguru and even went to court petitioning the results she claimed were irregular.

The High in Kerugoya presided over by Justice  Lucy Gitari upheld  the decision the voters made during the August 2017 general elections which Karua later disputed and ended up at the Supreme   Court.

After reaching a dead end Karua  kept a low profile only to resurface with a bang early last year when she  declared her intent to seek  to unseat Waiguru.

The  second born child of a  retired career teacher Jackson Karua , the  hardline politician is remembered  for the reforms she brought to the water sector when the Water Docket was under  her  watch .

She is also remembered to have ordered for the transfer of all the 37 police officers at one go  from  Kianyaga police station after they allegedly crossed her path when she was the Justice Minister , something that had never been  seen in the history of the country.

Kirinyaga residents are today upbeat that their own will only be a heartbeat away from State House after the forthcoming general elections.

Karua attended Kabare Girls Boarding primary school before proceeding to Kiburia Girls High school in 1971 situated at Kianyaga market, of Gichugu Constituency she would later lead.

The firebrand politician had to seek for a transfer to Karoti Girls secondary school and later to Nairobi girls.

The sky being the limit and Kenyan being a democratic country  ,Karua has her day .