65-year-old youth minister fails to sign contract amid social media backlash


Sixty five year old Sheila Githaiga, who was appointed to the position of County executive for Youth and Sports in Nyeri, has declined to take up the role.

Unlike other nine County executives, who signed their contracts on Wednesday, October 25, Ms Githaiga did not show up at Nyeri Governor’s office to put pen to paper so that she takes up her new appointment.

Nyeri Governor, Wahome Gakuru, on Wednesday said Githaiga is yet to give a reason for not signing her contract.

Online users had taken to different social media platforms to call out the members of Nyeri County Assembly for okaying the appointment of Githaiga as the executive in charge of the youth, given her age does not fall in the youth bracket – 18 to 35.

Despite the gripe on social media, Governor Wahome maintains he sees no problem with Githaiga’s appointment.

“We won’t respond to the issue of young people saying Githaiga is an old person. That is really not an issue. There is no one who should be discriminated upon on account of their age. All of us are going to grow old one time. And, I want you to check – even at the national level –, the person taking care of the docket of the youth is above the age of 50,” Wahome said.

The Nyeri County Assembly, in a special sitting on Monday, October 23, adopted the report of the Committee on Appointments which contained the names of the 10 CEC nominees and the Nyeri county secretary nominee.

Members had no issues with other names, expect Githaiga’s.

Despite stiff opposition from the youthful MCAs, the report was passed. Members turned down a motion by Konyu MCA Eric Mwangi to drop the name of Githaiga.

Mwangi argued that youths wanted a youthful person who can represent them well and work in an open manner.

Nominated MCA Beth Nyawira who was the first to oppose the name finally bowed to the pressure from her colleagues and adopted the report.

Among those who vouched for Githaiga is Gakawa MCA Amos Kanyai, who said that Githaiga is a woman with much exposure and wider network, factors he claims will bring change in Nyeri County.

(Additional reporting by Sammy Mbogo in Nyeri County)



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