• Viola Lagat, Kenyan 1500m athlete, on Saturday, October 23, challenged women leaders and President Uhuru Kenyatta to become more active in protecting the rights of women and the girl child. 

    Speaking at the burial ceremony of fallen athlete, Agnes Tirop, Viola lamented that the women leaders elected are doing nothing to protect the rights of women who have been left at the mercy of predators and violent individuals.

    She stated that Tirop’s gruesome murder has gone viral because she is a well known hero, but there are many other women who suffer the same fate but their experiences are not highlighted.

    “As women, we have leaders who we have elected to represent us, in the name of women representatives. Are you doing anything for us?” Viola posed. 

    Undated Photo of Athlete Agnes Tirop During the Past Running Event
    Undated Photo of Athlete Agnes Tirop During the Past Running Event
    World Athletics

    While citing examples of women leaders who do not execute their mandate, the athlete mentioned that she is from Nandi County, but has never seen the Nandi Woman Representative, anywhere in her village.

    Viola proceeded to tell all the leaders to remember that the citizens are their employer, and they should consider that they can be replaced whenever the citizens decide. 

    “I want to remind you that the reason why you are in Parliament is because we elected you to be our voice. Do not forget that.

    “So while in Parliament, propose laws that protect women. That way, something can be done. Don’t just sit there and watch women being killed every other day and do nothing about it,” she angrily stated. 

    Viola further criticized the women leaders, singling out Nakuru Senator, Susan Kihika, for being aggressive in matters of politics, but invisible when it comes to protecting women. 

    “Madam Kihika, and other women leaders, you are very vocal. You are very powerful when it comes to politics, but completely silent when issues affecting women arise.” 

    “I am really disappointed and it has come to a point when we need to make changes. Women representatives, if you are not going to do anything to me, my sister, my mother, please go home. You do not belong where you are,” she remarked as the mourners cheered her. 

    Viola further told President Uhuru that arresting murderers does not help solve the issues at hand. She demanded that Uhuru implements laws to protect women.

    “We don’t want to see you ordering suspects to be arrested. We want to see you ordering that laws be passed which shall protect women and children,” she stated. 

    President Uhuru Kenyatta addresses the nation in Kirinyaga on Mashujaa Day on Wednesday, October 20, 2021
    death murder arrest killed suspect
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