Her big breakthrough, however, came in 2013 following her appointment as Cabinet Secretary for Devolution by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Her leadership at the Ministry saw her become a household name in the country following the reforms she initiated including the revival and rebranding of the National Youth Service (NYS) that took up community service programmes such as the Kibera slum upgrade initiative.
However, his stint at the Ministry was short-lived as she was forced to resign from the Cabinet two years later through a press conference on November 21, 2015. This followed claims of financial impropriety in her Ministry through the famous NYS scandal that saw the country lose Ksh791 million.
Her resignation came after months of public uproar and debate with opposition leaders in the then Coalition of Reforms and Democracy (CORD) pressuring her to quit.
Other members in the Jubilee coalition including Deputy President William Ruto joined the conversation, asking her to take responsibility.
After leaving Cabinet, Waiguru kept a low profile until 2017 when she clinched the Jubilee Party’s Kirinyaga gubernatorial ticket. In the polls, she emerged the winner beating veteran politician Martha Karua.
She was one of the vocal supporters of the handshake between Uhuru and former Prime Minister, Raila Odinga, and the resultant Building Bridges Initiative (BBI). However, in October 2021, she joined Ruto’s party, the United Democratic Alliance (UDA).
Since decamping to the Ruto’s faction, Waiguru’s star continues to rise as she is considered one of the front runners for the Kenya Kwanza running mate position.
Speaking publicly for the first time in an interview with NTV on May 9, Mary Nyamu, Waiguru’s mother described her daughter as a defender of rule of law even as she drummed support for her candidature.
“What she sees is okay, I cannot deny it. All I can do is bless her. I cannot reprimand her because that is what she has chosen. If she thinks she will manage, that is good. I will be very happy because she has come from far. Her father used to call her chief because she was always there to prevent bad things from happening,” she stated.
Family and Education
Over the years, the outspoken governor has kept her family out of public light. However, in 2019, Waiguru tied the knot with city lawyer, Kamotho Waiganjo, at a traditional wedding that was attended by Uhuru and Raila.
She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Agriculture and Economics from Egerton University and a master’s degree in Economics from the University of Nairobi.