Woman rep's woes deepen as residents humiliate her in front of DP

  • Legislator tastes the wrath of angry residents as they chant slogans castigating her
  • Gathoni wa Muchomba was elected with 922,829 votes

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Even before the dust settles on the backlash she received over her remarks on MPs’ salary, Kiambu Woman Representative Gathoni wa Muchomba’s problems seem far from over.

The first-time MP who was considered one of the most popular politicians in the country after she was elected with 922,829 votes in the August 8 elections, was at the weekend humiliated by her electorate in front of Deputy President William Ruto.

All hell broke loose when Mr Ruto, who was on the campaign trail in Kiambu County, gave the MP, commonly known in the area as ‘Minji Minji,’ a chance to address a crowd at Githurai 45 in Ruiru constituency.

Before the DP could hand over the microphone to her, the crowd started to chant anti-Muchomba slogans, indicating they did not want to be addressed by her.

The charged crowd even went ahead to refer the woman representative as ‘Gathoni Wamichaara’ (Gathoni of salaries) as Ruto and other leaders who accompanied him watched.

“Apana Apana...Hatutaki kuongeleshwa na Gathoni...Tafhadali usimpatie microphone hatuko tayari kumsikiliza (No No No. We do not want to be addressed by Gathoni. Please do not give her the microphone we are not ready to listen to her),” the crowd chanted.

Wamuchomba kept her cool as the crowd continued to boo and jeer her.

 The microphone

After reading the mood of the crowd, the DP opted not to give her the microphone and went ahead to ask Senator Kimani Wamatangi to address the crowd.

Trouble for the radio queen-turned-politician began a fortnight ago when she made remarks that did not go down well with a section of Kenyans on parliamentarians’ salary.

Speaking during a TV interview, the MP is said to have disowned a salary cut for lawmakers proposed by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC).

Ms Wamuchomba is reported to have said: “Let us slash or raise salaries the right way. I want to be paid well. I want to be honoured for who I am.”

Immediate backlash

Her remarks triggered an immediate backlash from Kenyans on social media, many of them telling off the MP for demanding more money even before taking oath of office.

Heated debate followed on various social media groups, particularly in her Kiambu backyard, with many calling on her to withdraw the statement.

Angry residents even started collecting signatures to launch a recall petition against her.

The MP later ate humble pie and withdrew her remarks during another TV interview.

“I will gladly and humbly accept whatever Sarah Serem (SRC chairperson) will give us,” she said.

Her problems did not end there as a man last week went to court to stop her and her Homa Bay counterpart, Gladys Wanga, from taking oath of office.