My case for a woman president

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BY EVELYN NJOROGE

A few years ago, my mum had a food kiosk and every morning, she would put aside some food that she would give to some street families.

The families that benefited from this act of gesture were grateful and would promptly arrive at her stall to collect the day’s ratio.

My mother’s kindness must have rubbed on me because over the years, I have found myself buying food for street children and in some cases (although I don’t advocate for it) giving money to beggars on the streets. I also know people and friends who have done and continue to do the same.

What’s my point you may ask? Well, it’s certainly not to brag about how my family and my friends are generous, but to support findings that women have a much more caring side than men.

A woman will hurt when she sees another human being- even those that she’s not related to- suffering and more often than not, she will try in her own small way to ease their pain.

During the chaotic post election period, women cried when they saw people being hacked to death, others sleeping in the cold and children freezing to death. They are still being subjected to a psychological torture at a time when a third of the Kenyan population is battling hunger pangs.

I am willing to bet that majority of people who’ve responded to calls to contribute food items and money to save the millions of people facing starvation in the country are women. Yet all the political class (composed mainly of men) has done is to run their mouths politicking, forming alliances that will position themselves for the 2012 elections and asking for pay rises oblivious of the suffering that the people who put them into power are going through.

That’s why I want to submit here and now that we need to elect a woman president come 2012. I say we specifically need to vote Martha Karua as the fourth President of Kenya.

Why? Besides being a woman (who will hopefully understand our pain and problems and solve them), she has proven that she can fight for the rights of the people; she has shown us that she can stand her ground even when everything around her is shaking.

Reports that some people in the political circles are making some decisions just so they can isolate her (because she has declared her interest to vie for the highest office in the land) are just appalling. Again word has it that her rivals are doing so because she does not belong in the ‘who’s who’s’ list.

She’s from a peasant family and according to Kenya’s political philosophers (the public included), for anyone to lead the country, they must be filthy rich. Whether you kill a whole village or put the lives of 36million people at risk to acquire your wealth, does not matter. What matters (even to the electorate) is whether you have obscene wealth.

We will shun people like Karua who have nothing else to offer but integrity and a promise of transparency and justice. Instead, we will vote for the guys who’ll convince us that we are poor because the ‘madoadoa’ community has amassed all resources for themselves and those who’ll give us Sh200 and a T-shirt.

Yes, we are and have been since independence been a ‘T-shirt’ electorate. And we want to complain that the government and the people we appointed to represent us are sleeping on the job? Come on fellow Kenyans…style up!

2012 gives us the second chance to show whether we have learnt a lesson over the last couple of years or not.

We need to give the daughter of a peasant the chance to show us what she’s got. They say women are their own worst enemies and maybe it’s true. But can you imagine what a sweet victory it would be for the female folk, who account for 52 percent of the Kenyan population, if they decided to support one of their own?

With the support of men who love this country and those who are tired of their male counterparts’ greed that is now off the radar, we can surely elect Karua who has proven her leadership skills.

So, women I dare you to put your differences aside just for one day in December 2012 and vote in the ‘Iron Lady’. If for anything else to enter in history books as one of the few countries in Africa that defied taboos, misconceptions and complexes and voted for a woman as President.

After all, what do we have to lose?

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