Why does Mary Wambui suffer on Valentines?
February 14 is a day of love, marked with exaggerated display of affection, and punctuated with exchange of goodies among those who love and treasure each other. But the past two Valentines are not something Mary Wambui — whose election was nullified on Thursday — wants to remember.
On the eve of this year’s Valentines, the Court Of Appeal handed Wambui some devastating news: she was no longer the Othaya MP. Just last year, Wambui was publicly embarrassed on Valentine’s Day by none other than the man she was seeking to replace as Othaya MP — then President Mwai Kibaki. Presidential security guards (it is not clear who gave the order) barred Wambui from three public functions in Othaya attended by Mr Kibaki. Kibaki, then counting his days at State House, was inspecting development projects in the agriculturall rich constituency.
The Valentines Day drama, started at mid-day, when the president was expected to open Munyage Police Station in Othaya. Wambui was dressed in a red dress, perhaps to stand counted as having “coloured” the day as commemorators dictate — or to probably display her TNA party official colours. A handbag with the colours of the day helped to match the dress and shoes Wambui, like all the other Othaya natives, arrived ahead of time, and awaited the president’s arrival.
Security detail At 11.40am, when the president arrived, Wambui optimistic to grace the occasion presided over by Kibaki, tried to venture in, but was restrained by the president’s security detail. Interestingly, her bitter rival Gichuki Mugambi, who seemed to have won “the affection” of the former president in the succession battle, was allowed in. For a grueling 40 minutes, Wambui and her supporters stood staring from the entrance, and she had no kind words for Kibaki and his security detail. “I have been born, brought up and educated here. You police officers were never here when we started building this police station,” she complained alongside her supporters.
Her supporters, who were conspicuously donned in red The National Alliance caps, chorused emotional criticism towards the aging president, clearly showing where their affections lay. But the lockout, which publicly humiliated Wambui as a gatecrasher to the former president’s function, did not dampen her Valentine’s Day spirits.
When Kibaki’s motorcade took off to Othaya Boys High School for another function, she, too, boarded her vehicle and pursued him to the venue. Here, hawk-eyed Kibaki security team spotted her vehicle from a distance and hastily shut the gate. But the dampened Valentine’s Day, politically-speaking, did not dissipate the Othaya electorate’s “adoration” for Wambui’s candidature. But just when she was preparing to disregard the dampened spirit, a three-judge Bench dealt her, less-than-one year political stint, a deadly blow barely a day to Valentine’s 2014! Judges, Alnashir Visram, Otieno Odek and Martha Koome, ruled that her election was marred with massive irregularities and uncertainties of whether she was validly elected. She was back to the drawing board on this year’s Valentine’s Day.