BY LISPER KATHURE IN THARAKA-NITHI COUNTY.
A group comprising at least a hundred women from Chuka in Tharaka-Nithi County were tear-gassed on Thursday, when they were protesting against their colleagues, who dumped their underwear at the doorsteps of Governor Muthomi Njuki’s office last Monday.
The protesting women said they were disappointed by the anti-Njuki strange demonstrations, which “painted women from Tharaka-Nithi as mannerless, and ones who are ready to show their innerwear with little or no care”.
The Thursday 12 noon demos, however, turned chaotic, when police hurled teargas at the group of women, forcing them to scamper for safety.
The pro-Njuki protestants now accuse boda boda riders, who had joined their procession, of provoking the law enforcement officers into tear-gassing them.
“We won’t let our reputation as Tharaka women be soiled by a bunch of women, who showed the world that they can easily be provoked into showing their panties to the public. We distance ourselves from those women, and stand by Governor Njuki,” said a pro-Njuki protestant.
“Such an act, according to the Tharaka culture, symbolises cursing of the women’s target. We urge those women opposed to Governor Njuki to lift their spells on him, and seek an amicable way of expressing their grievances,” said another pro-Njuki rooter.
Last Monday, cleaners at Tharaka-Nithi County headquarters were asked to get rid of women’s panties and bras, which had been dumped outside Governor Njuki’s office.
A section of Tharaka-Nithi women stormed the county chief’s office at 2pm Monday to protest against his alleged demeaning remarks against women.
They threw their underwear, demanding withdrawal of the alleged insults and apology.
The women presented their grievances to the Chief of Staff, Wilson Murithi, and other county officials outside the county boss’s office.
Neither Mr Njuki nor his deputy, Francis Nyamu Kagwima, was present during the protests.
The women claimed that when Mr Njuki was angry with contractors, who were demanding to be paid their dues, the governor said the county had no money to give them, mocking them to be “paid by their mothers.”
Evangeline Karimi blamed Mr Njuki for allegedly telling women to source for sponsors to finance beauty contest that he insisted his government couldn’t waste its money on.
The women further accused the county chief of demeaning Senator Kithure Kindiki by referring to him as “speaking with a feminine voice” following a recent disagreement between the leaders over ownership of projects.
The women left the county offices at 3pm.
Mr Murithi, thereafter, asked a section of women working as cleaners at the facility to collect and throw the tens of panties away.
“They picked the undergarments using tree branches and piled them in a bucket before discarding them outside the county office headquarters. It remains unclear whether the cleaners burnt the panties and bras, or whether they threw them in a bin,” said Muuga FM journalist Lisper Kathure, who is based in Tharaka-Nithi County.
MCAs from the county urged Governor Njuki to shun his alleged derogatory remarks against women to avert such embarrassing occurrences in the future.