Governor speaks on stripping: All sizzle and no steak? And other leaders?

Finally, in the NTV video clip below, newly elected Nyeri Governor, Mr  Nderitu Gachagua, this week spoke out on the unspeakable stripping of women in public; a vile and violent abuse of rights, driven by impunity and and flagrant law-breaking, that also prompted this press release from a concerned lobby group.

Thank you, Governor. Now, please also walk the talk, and let this not be a case of all sizzle and no steak; words without action.


Nyeri’s new top leadership enjoys perfect gender parity. We’re yet to hear from the other three in top leadership in Nyeri:

  • Ms Priscilla Nyokabi, Women’s Rep, Nyeri County, an an accomplished human rights lawyer prior to her recent entry into politics;
  • Ms Esther Murugi, re-elected MP, Nyeri Town (she knows a thing or two about stripping, but voluntary, however, and to symbolise protest); and
  • Mr Mutahi Kagwe, Senator, Nyeri County.

Of course I could be completely wrong, and it could well be that the other three leaders, in stark departure from the nature of politicians (surprise, surprise!),  are very busy acting on the matter away from the limelight, newspaper headlines and the public eye. So much so that they have had no time to brief the public on what they are doing regarding this critical and urgent matter. Waheshimiwa, we need to hear your voices and see your action. That is what public leadership is about.

Nyeri is by no means an isolated case in degrading and abusing women in recent days: it has also happened in Bomet,  Kitengela, and who knows where else away from the headlines (such as Muthurwa)?

Ruling coalition, President Uhuru and Deputy President Ruto, this is happening in your electoral ‘strongholds’, where your word is probably even mightier than the law. Speak, leaders, speak! Follow the fine examples of Ms Joyce Kirui of Maendeleo ya Wanawake Bomet Branch and Cllr Muthoni Wanjau, in addition to Gov Gachagua.

Ms Winnie Lichuma and the National Gender and Equality Commission (NGEC), where are you? One of NGEC’s functions is “to initiate and advocate for legal reforms on issues affecting women, and to formulate laws, practices and policies that eliminate all forms of discrimination against women and all institutions, practices and customs that are detrimental to their dignity (emphasis mine).”

Where are you, COVAW, Women’s Rights and Awareness Programme (WRAP), AWC, AMWIK?

As for the ‘bwana yangu’ woman in the video above (cheerleading for the mob of layabouts, louts and perverts) and her ilk, I have no words. While she is naturally entitled to her opinion, she is however not entitled to enforce her opinion on others, dictating what they should wear, and where they should confine themselves to when they wear what. Dada, your cheerleading and the wearing of head-to-toe shrouds by women is not what’s going to keep your errant husband from straying or ‘domesticate’ his roving eye. It would appear you have more fundamental marital problems as a couple that you need to address (and not undress) by other means, and not through the vestment of other women. Your husband should feel very insulted, since, by your own testimony, he is apparently an uncontrollable and unthinking testosterone-crazed beast that attacks every ‘alluringly’ dressed female in his sights. But then again, you know your husband better, so we must take your word for it, in the absence of hearing otherwise from him. From what you say (“…heri avae trouser kama hii”), it seems you’re wearing trousers. You should therefore know that the next time sects like Akurinu, Mungiki or some misguided amorphous mob that opposes women wearing trousers is on the rampage, you too could fall victim.

In many ways, you and your ilk are even worse than the citizens who do and say nothing in the face of such injustice and mob rule, opting to instead take a ringside seat to ogle and peep as the drama unfolds, craning their necks for a better angle. Remember the ancient wisdom of Leo mimi, kesho wewe – what befalls these women can also befall you, Sister.

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About Njeri Okono

I am, therefore I write
This entry was posted in Gender, Governance, Human rights, Kenya, Law, Politics and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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