Keep off Kirinyaga county affairs, Kibicho tells Ruto

Saturday, September 21st, 2019 00:00 |
Interior Principal Secretary Dr Karanja Kibicho when he appeared before the National Assembly’s Committee on Administration and National Security in Nairobi, last week. Photo/PD/Samuel Kariuki

Githinji Mwangi

The bad blood between Deputy President Dr William Ruto and powerful Interior Principal Secretary  Karanja Kibicho boiled over on Friday after the latter warned the former to keep off the affairs of Kirinyaga county.

Kibicho, a top civil servant, who is not averse to dabbling in politics, claimed the Deputy President  was causing political and administrative confusion in his home county.

Speaking at Gathuthuini Secondary School in Kagio, Kirinyaga, on Friday while commissioning a Sh2.9 borehole constructed by the government, Kibicho told Dr Ruto to cease politicking and let Kenyans concentrate on development.

The Interior PS, who was accompanied by his Water and Irrigation counterpart Joseph Irungu, said President Uhuru Kenyatta is only interested in development and a peaceful nation and not “the politics that the DP is engrossed in”.

“This country has only one President whom we all know, let us all support him for development in all regions,’’ he said.

The DP has been a frequent visitor— at least 15 times since Jubilee was re-elected in the 2017 poll— in Kirinyaga county and seems to have made political inroads in the heartland of President Uhuru's home turf as he pushes his 2022 State House bid to the discomfort of some of region's leaders. 

Two weeks ago, he was at Lower Baricho Secondary School for a funds drive, barely a week after visiting Kangaita Catholic Church for another harambee.

Ruto's key ally in the area is Governor Anne Waiguru's political rival and Woman Representative Wangui Ngirici, who is also one of the convenors of the Inua Mama— the women legislators allied to the Tanga Tanga group backing Ruto's 2022 bid. 

The other faction in the increasingly divided Jubilee is the Kieleweke, whose female wing is Embrace, that captures cross-party membership and is pro-March 9, 2018 Handshake between President Uhuru and former Prime minister Raila Odinga.

Governor Waiguru is a member of Embrace and a vocal supporter of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI), a byproduct of the Handshake. The Waiguru and Ngirici wars have left the county sharply divided over 2022 succession politics with the former pitching for Raila and the latter Dr Ruto.

As an indicator of the DP's penetration in Kibicho's home county, four MPs who have been accompanying the former, have vowed to back his 2022 bid.

And on Friday, Water Resources Authority chairman and former Mwingi MP Joe Mutambo, who was at the function castigated Ruto and his Tanga Tanga group for causing division among Kenyans when the country is peaceful courtesy of the Handshake.

In what was seen as well-planned occasion to attack Ruto, Mutambo said politicians should go slow on 2022 politics because the country is not ready for early campaigns, adding that all leaders should support the President to deliver on his Big Four agenda.

“If you tell us you want to Tanga Tanga, what are you telling Kenyans who want money in their pockets to support their families? Please, give us a break from this noise,’’ he said.

Mutambo further told off the proponents of Ekuro Aukot’s Punguza Mizigo bill, saying many Kenyans do not understand what is in the bill.

Meanwhile, Kibicho held a meeting at his house at Kathithini, Ndia constituency, with Kirinyaga county leaders and the Implementation Committee, led by Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i to review projects implementation in the area. 

He was expected to have private session with MCAs in what appears to be a mission to sway them from Ruto's camp. 

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