How Mama Ngina Kenyatta brokered the handshake deal between Uhuru and Raila

Mama Ngina Kenyatta

Mama Ngina is said to have called Raila’s wife Ida Odinga and the two prevailed on the two Presidential contenders to bury the hatchet and embrace each other, it worked

By The Weekly Vision Online

Mama Ngina Kenyatta has had the rare opportunity very few women ever get during their lifetimes, being a wife and a mother to two presidents. She is the matriarch of one of the wealthiest political families’ in Africa; she has taken care of two presidents who have together ruled Kenya for twenty-five of the country’s sixty years of independence.

Mama Ngina married Jomo Kenyatta the father of current President Uhuru in the late 1950s and went on to become the “power behind the throne”! As the Kiambu mafia jostled to block vice president Daniel Moi from succeeding Kenyatta in 1976-78, it was Mama Ngina who is said to have thwarted the Mbiyu Koinange axis from successfully carrying out their plan.

She would later prevail on the powerful attorney general Charles Njonjo to “defuse’ the change in the constitution crusade and ensure VP Moi succeeded Kenyatta as president. In the 1991-92 return to multi-party politics, Mama Ngina reached out to her populous community facing eviction from Molo, Turbo, and parts of Nakuru. In 2007-08 post-election the violence she took charge of ferrying thousands of her kin to safety.

She would later bring together FORD Asili Kenneth Matiba and Democratic Party Mwai Kibaki in a unity bid that was aborted. But the disunity helped Moi navigate through two tight elections in 1992 and 1997, and in 2002 Mama Ngina urged Kenyans to elect her son president, Uhuru lost to Mwai Kibaki.

Uhuru Kenyatta prevailed in 2013 when he was elected president, bringing joy and pride to the First Lady who reportedly used to smuggle food to mau mau fighters in the 1950s, during the war of independence. Mama Ngina’s biggest achievement in Uhuru’s second term was the historical political handshake in March 2018 that ended deadly 2017 post-election chaos.

She is said to have called Raila’s wife Ida Odinga and the two prevailed on the two rivals to bury the hatchet and embrace each other. The handshake has provided the much needed political tranquillity that has allowed Mr Kenyatta a smooth ride in his second and last tenure.

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