Women rep launches unity initiative after divisive politics

Taita-Taveta County women representative, Lydia Haika has launched a unity initiative that brings together women, youth and persons living with disabilities who supported rival political parties in 2017 general election as part of efforts to cascade the effect of ‘Raila-Uhuru’ handshake to grassroots level.

Haika said that 2017 politics left women and youth in the region very divided and there was need to start a healing process so that the county can move forward.

Speaking at Voi town Wednesday during a meeting with over 300 women from across the county, Haika said she had started the initiative due to a need for women to speak in one voice in development matters.

She noted that many beneficial plans were being scuttled largely because they were suggested by women and leaders who were politically incorrect.

Women have suffered because of disunity occasioned by party politics. We are here to say that regardless of which party you supported, we need to move on as one people, she said.

The women rep said President Uhuru Kenyatta and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga had shown the way noting that all local political rivalry was water under the bridge.

She pledged to work with all residents, regardless of their status in the society to bring development in the region, adding that her office was working closely with donor partners and other groups to find support for women groups as part of fulfillment of her empowerment goals.

Haika was the only county leader elected under Jubilee ticket with Governor’s and senator’s post going to National Super Alliance candidates. Also, of the four MP’s in the county, only Dr. Naomi Shaaban of Taveta constituency is with Jubilee Party with three others being in NASA affiliate parties.

The women rep stated that political differences had created ill-will amongst women making them poorer and destitute.

Women supporting different political parties could not even come together to discuss matters of mutual importance. That is how politics affected our welfare, she said.

Gladys Mwachofi, an ODM campaigner at the meeting, said it was time women shelved politics and worked together to better their lives. She added there was need to support leaders who were preaching unity to create conducive environment for growth.

Politics is over now. We are now women focused on empowering ourselves, she said.

Source: Kenya News Agency