Unity, posterity of Mt Kenya should inform kingpin debate

Friday, May 28th, 2021 00:00 |

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Joseph Kimondo

Mt Kenya leaders perceived to be attempting to sow seeds of discord in the region must be stopped in their tracks. Efforts against the mission to unite the region for posterity should be nipped in the bud.

It is unfortunate that nearly 60 years after independence, leaders want to revive history and balkanise the mountain on ethnic lines — Mt Kenya East or West. 

When the region’s forefathers fought for independence, their successors pursued multiparty politics in the 1990s, and in subsequent national elections and other agendas, the interests of Mt Kenya region have always been articulated as one — from Kiambu to the furthest corner of Meru.

Therefore, attempts to introduce artificial fissures among the Gikuyu, Embu and Meru communities is no doubt fuelled by scavenger instincts of selfish people living in a make-believe world. 

However, in search of a regional spokesperson and kingpin, the elders of major communities in the region, in their wisdom, they have sought to entrench unity of purpose.

For months, they listened to residents, vetted interested leaders and settled on Speaker Justin Muturi based on his experience, right temperament and leadership abilities. 

Given the interests at stake, the coronation was bound to elicit mixed reactions but the region must choose to end arguments and move forward. 

Diverse opinions are welcome. Even in families we disagree. However, when elders have settled the disagreement and built consensus around a uniting figure, politics should be set aside and traditions and culture respected. Anything else doesn’t help the people. 

Actually the choice of Muturi as Mt Kenya spokesman is a great thing, especially because for the first time big communities in the region will be backing a kingpin from a minority group. It is the best illustration that the Mt Kenya region is one indivisible entity. 

Muturi is the second senior-most leader from the region in the government. He continues to articulate the people’s interests with keen interest in the welfare of a region that has not needed to rethink its unity more than it does just now, since independence. 

If Muturi’s leadership pedigree is deemed lesser for hailing from the eastern side of the mountain — a minority community — then let those who are opposed to him being a point-man parade the alternatives. 

The picking of a regional spokesperson should have a much bigger agenda — not just unity of the region, but also the region’s relationship with the rest of the country.

Any other agenda works against prosperity and strength of the region to speak in one voice at the national arena. 

Politicians in the region still reserve the right to speak on issues affecting their respective constituencies. Muturi coronation did not stop anyone from articulating their views because the ultimate agenda is the welfare of the people of Mt Kenya.  

With unity of purpose, the prosperity and unity of Mt Kenya shall be guaranteed.

That’s what the elders, leaders and the people should strive to achieve. Politics aside, there is no alternative best-placed to deliver that agenda, other than Muturi. — The writer is a resident of Kiambu county and comments on topical issues

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