Governor Kawira Mwangaza’s ascent to power was unexpected. Shocking even. Hitherto almost unknown even within her county, the political newbie dethroned a political giant of national stature, who many thought would mince her like a crocodile minces its hapless prey, if you catch my drift.
Nevertheless, her downfall may be in the offing. The David-vs-Goliath triumph she pulled in the last election has filled her with hubris. Having worn the governor hat, Kawira seems to think that now she is entitled to do anything she wants. Public announcements about the role of the current Meru first gentleman in the county governance are the first evidence of this misconception. But even though the gentleman played a most crucial role in the election of his wife, it is the wife that asked for and was given the mandate to lead the people of Meru. Making a public announcement about her husband’s role alongside the announcement of the County Executive Committee members made the impression that the first gentleman was just like, if not higher in seniority than the CECs. The gentleman seems to have gotten this impression too and his concomitant attitude has not helped the situation.
To worsen matters, the governor has been accused of not only making nepotistic appointments but also contravening the constitution in the process of forming her government. Her Excellency’s reaction to the accusations has been prideful and unapologetic. From cutting ties with Members of the County Assembly of Meru to publicly humiliating some of them, the governor has consistently chest-thumped suggesting that as an independent politician she owes allegiance only to the electorate. Her presumptuous defiance has now landed her at the doorstep of impeachment.
Kawira might have forgotten, or perhaps she never knew that politics is not a game of might. Rather, it is one of strategy. One of the ways she has defended herself is through the claim that she is rooting out the “corrupt cartels” that have impoverished Meru County. Assuming this is true, doesn’t the governor know that the filthy game of politics demands that one remains shrewd even when doing the right thing?
The governor seems to harbor dictatorial attitudes to say the least. The vexatious nature of this possibility notwithstanding, it is less likely that her despotism may sink her and more probable that her unwise execution of it will. If a cow wishes to drink from a crocodile-infested river, it has no option but to be sneaky about quenching its thirst. The governor must surely know that while her predecessor’s self-christening as a crocodile was a strategy to scare the faint-hearted and allude to his supposed mettle, the political waters in which she now swims are ever teeming with the menacing reptiles. With Munya’s announcement that he’s going back to county politics and Kawira’s fallout with county legislators, the county boss’ goose might just be cooked. Perhaps it is not too late for her to revise her approach and try to repair the burned bridges though. Unlike her predecessor’s dethronement, hers will neither be shocking nor unexpected if she does not act quickly and astutely.