Leaders’ demand for Mt Kenya vote

Tuesday, September 21st, 2021 00:00 |
The Service Party leader Mwangi Kiunjuri (centre) with other Mt Kenya leaders address the media in Naivasha, yesterday. Photo/PD/Kirera Mwiti

Kirera Mwiti and Anthony Mwangi

A section of politicians from the Mt Kenya region plan to engage the various 2022 presidential contenders before settling on their preferred candidate.

A meeting bringing together several politicians from the region held at a Naivasha hotel yesterday resolved to share the group’s blueprint with various presidential candidates before deciding who to back next year.

While widening their search for their candidate, the leaders identified equity in resource sharing and development as the major key points for the region.

During the one-day retreat in Naivasha, the leaders named Narc-Kenya leader Martha Karua as their spokesperson and mandated her to engage other parties.

“We are working on a blueprint that has identified areas we feel should be addressed in Mt Kenya.

We shall soon be sharing it with various candidates,” Karua said.

Political differences

She said they were also keen to embrace multi-partism, terming calls to disband political parties as misplaced and return to dictatorship.

“We are committed to uniting Mt Kenya region and diaspora. The issues we discussed revolve around security of persons and parties, equity of representation and in sharing resources and development,” she said.

Those who have already declared interest to run for the presidency are Deputy President William Ruto, Opposition leaders Raila Odinga, Musalia Mudavadi, Kalonzo Musyoka, National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi, former Cabinet minister Mukhisa Kituyi and governors Mwangi wa Iria (Murang’a), Alfred Mutua (Machakos) and Kivutha Kibwana (Makueni). 

Yesterday’s meeting was attended by Karua, former Cabinet Secretary and The Service Party leader Mwangi Kiunjuri, MPs  Moses Kuria (Gatundu South), Jude Njomo (Kiambu Town), Kanini Kega (Kieni), former Tetu MP Ndung’u Gethenji and former Kiambu Governor William Kabogo.

Political differences between the region and those from Mount Kenya East played out as leaders from the region stayed away.

National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi, who leads the group did not show up although word had it that he had been invited.

Muturi who has already declared interest in the race to State House did not respond to our calls and texts on the matter.

Succession politics have brought about divisions between the two regions with each seeking recognition over the other.

While most of MPs in the regions have aligned themselves with Ruto, governors have remained non partisan.

Wa Iria, who heads the Usawa party, has opted to go it alone and is not subscribing to any of the groupings.

Kiunjuri said they expected great things in future from the ongoing meetings.

He backed Karua’s sentiments, noting that they were targeting unity of purpose, as they widened their search for a candidate to support.

Great things

“When leaders from the mountain meet great things happen and we shall not disappoint this time round as we head to the next elections,” he said.

Others who spoke were Kuria, who said they had appointed Karua as their spokesman and given her the blessings to engage other parties and leaders.

“From now on, Karua will be the interim spokesperson of the Mt Kenya Unity forum and she is free to engage other like-minded leaders and parties,” he said.

Kabogo said the forum would target even the future generations and not only the coming elections.

“We are seeking leaders from other parts of Mt Kenya in our ongoing discussions as we are keen to expand our wings as we seek lasting unity,” he said.

But Kiambu Senator Kimani Wamatangi appeared to pour cold water on Karua’s initiative, saying only President Uhuru Kenyatta will give the region political direction at an opportune time. 

Wamatangi said plans are at an advanced stage to convene a Mt Kenya elected leaders consultative meeting to deliberate on the region’s political future.

More on News