21 June 2011

Kenya: Second Liberation 'Heroine' Taken Ill

Nairobi — Ms Philomena Chelagat Mutai, the fiery politician from Nandi who became the first Kalenjin woman to be elected into Parliament, was on Tuesday admitted to hospital in Nairobi.

Doctors at the Spinal Injury Hospital said the veteran politician suffered from severe spinal problems and arthritis (swelling of joints).

The former MP said her illness was as a result of a road accident a few years ago.

Sought Raila's help

She was taken to hospital by Prime Minister Raila Odinga who described her as one of the "heroines" of the Second Liberation.

The 62-year-old sought the Prime Minister's help from Kasarani's Mwiki estate where she has been staying with a friend.

"I didn't want to bother many people, but when I couldn't bear the pain any more, I decided to contact the PM two days ago, and I am glad he heeded to my call," she said.

"We thank her because she is among those whose contribution have made Kenya what it is today," said the PM who was accompanied by Cabinet ministers James Orengo and Fred Gumo.

Ms Mutai was a member of the group of politicians nicknamed the "Seven Bearded Sisters" by former attorney-general Charles Njonjo who saw in them communists out to serve foreign masters.

The former MP expressed disappointment with Kenyan politics, especially corruption, lack of commitment to the building of political parties and tribalism.

She has, however, ruled out a return to politics.

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