- Leaders to meet next week to counteract what they term tribal-based alliances
Leaders opposed to the Gema and Kamatusa outfits are planning to hold a parallel meeting in Limuru on Wednesday next week.
A meeting dubbed Limuru II B, which seeks to bring together leaders opposed to the Gema and Kamatusa approach to politics, is set for April 18 in Limuru.
The meeting is set to discuss, among other issues, the de-linking of the ICC process from the next General Election.
Speaking to the Nation on phone, Imenti Central MP Gitobu Imanyara said leaders from across the country would attend the meeting.
“This is a meeting that seeks alternative leadership in Kenya. We are going to discuss how to enable Kenyans as a whole to elect leaders without undue political influence. The future of Kenyans lies not in a few individuals but in the full implementation of the Constitution,” Mr Imanyara said.
The two outfits have come under sharp criticism from some leaders and the clergy.
Kamatusa (Kalenjin, Maasai, Turkana and Samburu) and Gema (Gikuyu, Embu and Meru Association) recently endorsed Eldoret North MP William Ruto and Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta respectively as presidential flag bearers in the next elections.
Mr Imanyara said retired ACK Archbishop David Gitari was also expected at the meeting.
Igembe South MP Mithika Linturi was the first to announce a move to form a national alliance to counter Gema and Kamatusa.
Speaking to the Nation on phone, Mr Linturi said he was working with other leaders to rid the country of tribal alliances.
He said majority of the leaders behind the new alliance are young Kenyans who do not identify with ethnic blocs.
“If you are a Meru and married to a Luhya, what tribe is your child? We want to address real issues facing the country like youth unemployment,” he said.
At the same time, Trade minister Moses Wetang’ula urged Kenyans to reject tribal alliances such as Gema and Kamatusa, saying they were a recipe for ethnic chaos.
Speaking during a public rally in Runyenjes, Mr Wetang’ula accused politicians of mobilising people along tribal lines.
“Kenyans want peace this time round. Politicians are to blame for inciting tribal animosity. People who are aligning themselves with some tribes are out to cause hatred among Kenyans,” he said.
Elsewhere, western Kenya-based Dini ya Msambwa asked Kenyans to shun tribal groupings ahead of the next elections to avoid bloodshed such as that witnessed after the 2007 General Election.
Sect leader Barasa Khaoya urged the National Cohesion and Integration Commission to crackdown on groups propagating hate speech.
“We want one Kenya united by our values and culture as our strength,” said Pope Khaoya.
Meanwhile, assistant minister Peter Munya has defended regional groupings, saying they were meant to consolidate unity.
The Constitution, he said, did not prohibit such groupings.
“There is no problem with Gema and Kamatusa meeting to discuss their regional developmental issues. The problem would be there if they met to discuss plans that would ruin other Kenyans’ lives,” the assistant minister in charge of East Africa Community said adding the constitution does not prohibit such groupings.
He asked those against Gema and Kamatusa to concentrate on their regions.
Meanwhile, some leaders in Baringo County have distanced themselves from remarks made by retired president Daniel arap Moi denouncing last week’s Kamatusa meeting in Eldoret.
Addressing the press in Kabarnet on Monday, Baringo County United Republican Party youth leader Nicholas Koros said Mr Moi and other leaders’ sentiments against tribal groupings were their personal views.
“Some people no longer have a say politically in Rift Valley and should desist from making misleading statements. The meeting was legitimate and we as the youth totally approve of it,” said Mr Koros.
He said that there was nothing wrong with some communities meeting to share common ideologies.
Roads Minister Franklin Bett, Energy assistant minister Magerer Lang’at and other ODM leaders in Rift Valley have opposed the Kamatusa alliance.