Uhuru plans to unite Mt Kenya ahead of polls

Tuesday, September 7th, 2021 00:00 |
Mt Kenya leaders led by Mwangi Kiunjuri (left), Murang’a Woman Rep Sabina Chege and Narc-Kenya leader Martha Karua (right) after a meeting in Nairobi yesterday. Photo: Courtesy

 A breakfast meeting held at a Nairobi hotel yesterday has lifted the lid on renewed efforts by President Uhuru Kenyatta to reach out to the allies of Deputy President William Ruto in the Mt Kenya region.

Sources said the meeting, convened by former Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri, was the culmination of efforts by the President to reach out to all Mt Kenya political leaders, including those allied to Ruto ahead of the General Election.   

The efforts, the sources who sought anonymity said, are geared towards ensuring the region goes to polls as a bloc.

Yesterday’s meeting was attended by Kiunjuri, the leader of The Service Party, Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua and a host of Kieleweke lawmakers who support President Uhuru and his Handshake partner Raila Odinga.

They included Kanini Kega (Kieni), Sabina Chege (Murang’a Woman Rep), Kabinga Wachira (Mwea) and Jude Njomo (Kiambu).

Sources who attended the meeting said they discussed the unity of the region and start preparations for a larger meeting of all leaders from the region which is scheduled for next month in Limuru.

The organisers said they planned to form a secretariat with representation from each political party in the region. The secretariat’s task will be to draw the date and agenda for the planned Limuru meeting.

Speaking to the People Daily on phone, Kiunjuri, a Ruto ally, confirmed a meeting of all leaders from the region, irrespective of their affiliation, to chart the way forward for the President’s backyard ahead of 2022.

 “The meeting was convened because of the unity of Mt Kenya which must happen. We also met to prepare for the larger meeting that we expect to hold soon and whose dates we will be announcing tomorrow,” he added.

Kiunjuri however clarified that they will not fold up their individual parties, as their main aim is to only ensure that the region remains intact, irrespective of the candidates they will support in next year’s General Election.

Unity of purpose

 “Parties will remain independent but despite this, we must ensure there is unity of our people,” added Kiunjuri.

Karua on her part said that they had met to deliberate on matters touching on Mt Kenya region.  

She was categorical that the meeting also resolved to come up with a wish list of the things they would want met by the presidential candidate the region will be supporting. 

 “Today the commitment is the unity of purpose of the people of Mt Kenya. We have resolved that we are going to reach out to every sitting MP from the region and we hope they will be present in our next meeting. We are committed to our unity of purpose, we are committed to multipartism and nobody is being told to leave their parties,” she said.

Sources privy to the plans revealed that the President was keen to use Kiunjuri to reach out to the Ruto allies in the region given his experience  in politics.

Uhuru is said to have dispatched emissaries, led by a sitting CS from the Rift valley region, to reach out to Kiunjuri, who he fell out with and even fired from the Cabinet.

 The sources, Uhuru plans to use the unity talks to win over the pro-Ruto MPs from the region.

Single party

“Uhuru has settled on Kiunjuri because he lacks someone from the region whom he can trust and in the last few weeks, he has been sending people to talk to him so that he can agree to lead the talks,” said the source who did not want to be named.

 This is the second time Kiunjuri and Karua have convened a meeting to deliberate on the unity of the region.

 Last month, the duo as well as Gatundu South Moses Kuria unveiled an inter-party league to canvas the interests of the region ahead of 2022 polls.

 Yesterday’s meeting comes at a time when lawmakers allied to Ruto’s United Democratic Alliance within the Mt Kenya region have vowed to back his unity bid under a single party.

 The leaders have insisted that a single party where all Kenyans are involved will ensure a progressive economic blueprint is well articulated for the prosperity of the nation.

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