Uasin Gishu Woman Rep Gladys Boss Shollei has ruffled political feathers in Deputy President William Ruto’s backyard over her leadership style.
Unlike other leaders from the region who have been known for their sycophancy, the former Judiciary registrar has instead opted to carry out her mandate silently at the grassroots, away from the public limelight.
Her approach, which includes skipping public functions, has brought her under fire from some leaders allied to the DP.
Ms Shollei, elected on a Jubilee Party ticket, was Tuesday categorical that she will not play populist politics.
“I am not anybody’s flower girl who advertises herself so as to be seen. My style of leadership is different,” Ms Shollei told the Nation.
“I respect all leaders, including those in Uasin Gishu, but I will not attend meetings without a clear purpose. I cannot afford to waste time,” added Ms Shollei.
She said she will always do what she believes is useful to the people and will not “sell my soul” just to please people or get re-elected.
The lawmaker found herself in trouble on Sunday when she was booed by some Eldoret residents as she gave a speech during the Eldoret City Marathon.
The charged crowd took issue after Ms Shollei distanced herself from factions in the Jubilee Party — “Tanga Tanga”, “Kieleweke” and “Handshake”.
“You will never see me in Tanga Tanga or Kieleweke movements functions. This is because I believe in development and not politics. That is why you don’t see me moving around with them,” said Ms Shollei, amid jeers from the locals.
She braved the jeers and proceeded with her speech. Deputy Governor Daniel Chemno intervened and pleaded with the crowd to cool down.
“Today is not a day of politics. We are here to have fun by celebrating our athletes who continue to bring honour to this country,” said Mr Chemno.
Ms Shollei has been accused on several occasions by some leaders, among them vocal Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi, of being an absentee leader.
“Now you know leaders who have your interests at heart. Some have never attended a single public function,” Mr Sudi said recently in reference to Ms Shollei.
The woman rep has termed such remarks baseless and shallow, adding that she had done a lot.
“My development record speaks for itself. Those talking loudest have nothing to show in terms of development in their jurisdictions,” said Ms Shollei.
She has disagreed with her Rift Valley colleagues in the National Assembly and Senate who have complained that President Kenyatta has side-lined his deputy after the handshake with ODM leader Raila Odinga.
Ms Shollei said they were disrespecting the office of the President through constant attacks directed at the Head of State.
She urged the leaders to accord the President’s seat the respect it deserves regardless of their status in the society.
“Even if you don’t like the President for whatever reasons, just accord that seat the respect it deserves because it is the symbol of unity of our country,” said Ms Shollei, who is also the chairperson of the National Assembly’s Committee on Delegated Legislation.
Some elected leaders from the Rift Valley allied to the DP have claimed that the fight against corruption was aimed at scuttling the DP’s 2022 presidential ambition.