A Uwezo Fund ceremony for women groups in Kirinyaga County has aborted after two rival groups clashed at the Kerugoya Catholic Church hall, which was the venue.
The ceremony which would have been presided over by the Chief Administrative Secretary for Devolution, Rachel Shebesh had to be called off on security grounds after mid-day clash.
The County Security Team led by area County Commissioner (CC), Samson Ojwang had to intervene when the situation tuned chaotic as the rivals physically fought outside and inside the hall.
It all started after some women were allegedly barred from accessing the venue on the grounds that the ceremony was an area county government affair.
The rival group said to be allied to the County Women Representative wondered why any woman should be discriminated over political allegiance since the Fund was from the National Government.
“This translated into a heated argument and when the Women Representative, Wangui Ngirichi arrived at the venue , the situation got out of hand leading to some men present on official duties being physically assaulted as the rivals engaged each other ,” claimed Anne Njeri who said she was allied to the governor Anne Waiguru’s camp.
While cancelling the meeting Ojwang said it was humility and much regrets the fete had to be called off on security grounds following the skirmishes that erupted after the women differed over non issues.
“As you have all witnessed this meeting cannot take place under this environment and I will be seeking further guidance from the Public, Gender and Social Services Cabinet Secretary, Prof. Margaret Kobia on the way forward since you must get the money anyway, ”Ojwang said.
According to the governor’s protocol, Waiguru was scheduled to grace the occasion as Shebesh officiated before Wangui stormed the venue.
After the violence subsided, the high table where Waiguru, Shebesh and Ngirichi would have sat was turned upside down but senior county government officials quickly picked the items up and loaded them into a waiting vehicle.
Waiguru did not however attend the meeting though her Chief of Staff and other senior officials were already at the venue when the chaos erupted.
The beneficiaries numbering 1600 went home upset after allegedly wasting many man hours chasing a red herring but asked their leaders to stop their supremacy battles.
“When these two heavy weight champions fight, it is us the small women who end up suffering and we are urging them to stop and start rendering services to us, “said Bancy Wanjiku.
Shebesh did not show up although entertainment and decorations befitting her status were already in place.
Since Independence political rivalry has characterized the county between men politicians, but this time round its women leaders who are engaged in the said rivalry
The supremacy has been prevailing since the 2017 general elections
By Irungu Mwangi