Kang’ata goes mute as debate rages over letter

Wednesday, January 6th, 2021 00:00 |
Murang’a Senator Irungu Kang’ata at a past press briefing. Photo/PD/file

Murang’a Senator Irungu Kang’ata’s silence since his letter warning that the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) would not sail through in the Mt Kenya region has been too deafening to ignore.

His cell phone has been off since Sunday evening, only being switched on and off briefly. 

His public appearances have been rare too since his controversial letter, briefly showing up at Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi’s home on Sunday evening to condole with the former vice-president following the demise of his mother, and on Monday, making an appearance at a funeral in Murang’a county where he flatly refused to comment on the matter.

Come Monday evening and a letter emerged, purportedly written by Kang’ata disowning the controversial one addressed to President Uhuru Kenyatta and which has rocked the Mt Kenya political leadership. 

Kanga’ta quickly issued a tweet distancing himself from the earlier letter and confirming that he had, in fact, authored the controversial letter to the president, only that it had been leaked to the media by an unnamed person.

 “I however hope the President will address the issues I raised in the letter,” Kang’ata wrote.

Interestingly, the ruling Jubilee Party has not commented on the matter despite the party’s national vice-chairman David Murathe warning that errant members who take divergent positions will be punished.

But even as some in the Jubilee Party and the proponents of the BBI lambasted Kang’ata, Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua backed him saying the letter captured the mood in the Mt. Kenya region.

Said Mutua: “But, let me also stop speculating. The good Senator Kang’ata’s phone is off. If anyone gets in touch with him, please tell him I want to buy him a drink. He has made me proud.”

“The senator should be rewarded. What the courageous Senate Majority Chief Whip has done has vocalised the whispers that have been going on due to propaganda by opposers of BBI,” he said.

Mutua noted that the letter was timely and the courage demonstrated by Kang’ata had vocalised the whispers that have been going round.

He observed that Kang’ata’s letter to  Uhuru may be the best thing to have happened to the BBI.

Clear reflection

“The letter raises questions as to whether there is a communication breakdown in Uhuru’s political organisation,” Mutua wrote further asking who are the gatekeepers to the President.

ven as Kang’ata went mute, he continued to gain support from unexpected sources especially those in the Tanga Tanga faction whom he helped to remove from office.

Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen said he was ready to defend Kang’ata against any attempt to replace him over his action.

“Bring on the motion to remove the Majority Whip and although he was among the architects of my removal I will defend him wholeheartedly,” Murkomen tweeted.

Another Tanga Tanga allied MP, Kimani Ngunjiri, said Kang’ata’s sentiments were a clear reflection of a man on the move.

“Kang’ata is on his way to our side, he has opened doors to many more who are willing to join Tanga Tanga, in the next few days things will start to unfold,” Ngunjiri told the People Daily.

But MPs allied to Kieleweke faction including Jeremiah Kioni and Ngunjiri Wambugu had no kind words for Kang’ata who they claimed had already jumped ship and joined the anti BBI proponents.

Limuru MP Peter Mwathi castigated Kang’ata for disregarding protocol to address the President saying that the same was akin to exposing his underbelly.

Mwathi said that the Murang’a senator directly communicates with the President and should not have written the “offensive letter”.

Raised questions

“ I imagine he has Uhuru’s speed dial and they talk regularly and hence writing a letter and copying it to other people is a sign of disrespect to the head of state,” he said.

 Mwathi asked Kang’ata to resign forthwith saying that his continued stay in office will cripple the Jubilee party.

“Once a leader fails to show his people direction, they have no business clinging into office but should vacate and let others take the reins,’ he said.

Mutua said that he was particularly delighted that the senator’s actions had caught the attention of ten governors.

“This will work in favour of the document in the long run, and Kang’ata should not be accused for merely doing his role,” Mutua added.

“I am especially pleased that no less than 10 fellow governors issued a statement due to Senator Kang’ata’s letter.

They have said all will be well and I am sure they will now, more than before, ensure all will indeed be well. That is good for BBI,” Mutua wrote.

Governor Mutua continued: “Instead of condemning and exerting pressure on my friend and fellow youthful leader, we, who support BBI, should be honouring him.”

He added that he supports the BBI and President Uhuru’s legacy projects and anything that contributes to its success is welcome to me.

Mutua, however, raised questions as to whether the whole drama is a game initiated by the President to cause confusion in the whole process.

“I am also wondering, could this be a master political game initiated by President Uhuru to give him a good reason to rejig a few things?

Well, it is a technique I have seen used effectively. “But as they say, time will tell,” Mutua added.

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