Narc Kenya Party leader Martha Karua was regularly described by many as ‘the only ‘man’ in former president Mwai Kibaki’s inner circle. She has also been dubbed Kenya’s iron lady.
Ms Karua easily emerged as a leader of the PNU troops, taking charge when others cowered during the intense negotiations that led to the formation of Kenya’s grand coalition government.
In the months after the disputed 2007 General Election, Ms Karua’s presence and impact was highly felt within her PNU party and the Orange Democratic Movement with whom they were contesting for ultimate power.
In fact, some say that she was the unrelenting voice in Kibaki’s forces in protracted, fractious and acrimonious talks led by the late former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
The country was reeling from the violent post-election chaos that erupted after Mwai Kibaki was declared the election winner but the opposition cried foul, insisting it had been robbed of clear victory.
Despite being the bedrock of PNU team in the negotiations that led to the unity government that saw Kibaki share power with ODM leader Raila Odinga, Mr Karua’s star and influence slowly dimmed.
With cracks emerging in the PNU administration, her fearless and forthright nature worked against her.
Karua become the casualty when she gave up the fight for her position in Kibaki’s Cabinet and resigned in 2010 as the minister for Justice, National Cohesion and Constitutional Affairs citing frustration.
She later became a fierce critic of the government, targeting her ire at a group she dismissed as an anti-reformist clique, a sign she was set to strike out on her own.
Later, the former Gichugu MP declared she would run for the president in the 2013 General Election, a race she emerged a distance sixth ahead of James ole Kiyiapi (Restore and Build Kenya ) and Mr Paul Muite of Safina.
In the 2017 General Election, Ms Karua went for the Kirinyaga governor’s post but lost to the Ms Anne Waiguru, who is a former Devolution minister.
Ms Karua petitioned the election, citing widespread bribery, but was unable to prove her claims in High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.
She may be down, but the Narc-Kenya leader is a tenacious and determined fighter who still has time to rise from electoral defeats.
Tough as nails, she takes on Anne Kiguta on Sunday, August 11, 2019 on her past, present and future.