Martha Karua has kept her word and resigned from cabinet citing her inability to do her job due to interference from her boss (the executive) and those around him.
I greatly admire this woman who has never been short of courage.
She was carjacked once in the famous father Wamugunda incident and she held her head high through the whole ordeal as the scandal broke and in the end it was the press who blinked first.
Martha Karua today joined the very short list of cabinet ministers in Kenya who have dared to resign.
Then she is also a survivor of the Busia plane crash of 2003 that killed another cabinet minister and others.
However in the latest move political analysts point to the fact that she really had no choice but to resign. What do you do when you are the justice Minister and judges are appointed and sworn in without your knowledge? Besides the timing was also extremely politically prudent because Mwai Kibaki’s government is turning out to be the most unpopular ever. Clearly fresh elections are not too far off in the horizon and those who are still hanging close to the current government will have a very hard time seeing parliament again. By resigning now Martha positions herself as a rebel, the righteous woman who could not stand the stench in the place she worked and quit in protest. She is at least sure of seeing the insides of the 11th parliament.
Unfortunately that is not the whole story. Ms Karua is still positioned prominently and clearly in the minds of most Kenyans as the legal brains behind Mwai Kibaki’s election theft of 2007. Indeed as she has pointed out several times, she stood and defended Kibaki when trouser-clad males around her were either shaking in fright under the table or peering from behind her skirts.
In fact one of the reasons she started falling out with the Kibaki regime is that she was overlooked even after the gutsy work she did and in the end the person who got appointed Prime Minsiter and heir-apparent was in fact one of those peering behind her skirt when things got pretty hot around the president last January.
Still one cannot deny the fact that Martha Karua’s resignation has had a big symbolic impact on the grand coalition government. More than anything else it has exposed the weaknesses and vulnerability of the PNU side of the coalition. If the grand coalition government is a Mugumo tree then her action has cut a couple of inches into the tree and proved more than ever before that this huge strong tree shall fall after all. It is only a matter of time.
Karua has done what the noisy ODMers cannot dare do--at least for now.
Published earlier today: What happens if the grand coalition government collapses?