Waiguru's Congratulatory Message to Finnish Leader Backfires

  • Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru speaks to journalists at Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort in Mombasa on February 7, 2018. File
  • Kirinyiga Governor Anne Waiguru on Tuesday, December 10, found herself on the receiving end of online criticism after she took to Twitter to champion for the creation of equal opportunities in government for women.

    Waiguru hinged her message on her congratulatory message to Finland's Sanna Marin after she became the youngest ever prime minister-elect at the age of 34.

    The Kirinyaga governor stated that Kenyan women needed to be allowed to thrive in Kenya's political arena contrasting it to the Finland Parliament where major parties are led by women.

    "Talk of a progressive country-congratulations to Sanna Marin, the youngest prime minister-elect from Finland & to the all woman-led government -The 5 major parties in Finland's Parliament are now all led by women. We must create equal opportunities in Kenya for women to thrive!" Waiguru stated.

    Anne Waiguru (2nd left) and other panelists during a side event hosted by the Ministry of Devolution and Planning on the sidelines of the 59th session of the Commission on the Status of Women at the UN Headquarters, Wednesday, March 18, 2015.
    Anne Waiguru (2nd left) and other panelists during an event hosted by the Ministry of Devolution and Planning on the sidelines of the 59th session of the Commission on the Status of Women at the UN Headquarters, Wednesday, March 18, 2015.

    Meant as a congratulatory message and insight into the never-ending fight for gender equality in Kenya's leadership, Waiguru's post seemed to rub the shoulders of irate Kenyans on social media the wrong way.

    A section of the netizens stated that there was a need for more women in leadership but not through constitutional reforms but through merit.

    "What we need is women should turn up and vie/fight for various position instead of changing the constitution to create positions for women," Twitter user by the moniker Aloice Chief argued.

    Others argued that there was no problem with having women in leadership as long as they had the interests of the public at heart, at the same time calling out Waiguru for her stint at the National Youth Service that was plagued with corruption.

    "In Kenya, there is no difference between men and women. When you served as Cabinet Secretary [the NYS scandal shocked Kenyans with, for example, a] pen costing 100,000 that was out of this world," Mathew Kamonyo remarked.

    "Dear Waiguru, these are ladies born with people in heart and they don't steal to remain in limelight. Please, when will this culture build up in our country?" Ndirangu Machar added.

    African Women leaders gather in Nairobi to discuss empowerment between August 24 and 25, 2019.
    African Women leaders gather in Nairobi to discuss women empowerment between August 24 and 25, 2019.

    A majority of the netizens tore into her stints as cabinet secretary and governor questioning her integrity and that of a number of other women leaders in the country.

    "A good leader is just that, a good leader. Being a woman is not a qualification for good leadership. Take yourself as an example of a bad leader. Do you remember the NYS scandal? Thanks to our rotten leadership, you're now free citizen, even though you belong in jail," moniker Faithless critiqued.