Murang’a Senator Irungu Kang’ata, a lawyer and a close friend of Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro, prevented a looming fracas between the legislator’s supporters and police officers from the General Service Unit (GSU) who had been deployed to arrest him on the night of September 9, 2019.
The ruthless GSU officers had come prepared to face off with the MP’s supporters and were armed with clubs, guns and in full anti-riot gear, ready for “war” especially after the MP’s supporters on September 8 grabbed and rescued him from the hands police of police officers who tried to arrest him over the fracas at Gitui Catholic Church.
Last week on Monday night, a contingent of about 60 officers who had surrounded St James ACK Church where the MP was speaking on a live television interview with a local TV station, told Senator Kang’ata that they were “ready for anything, insisting that they were not afraid.
The senator, who came as the show was going on, arrived at the police officers were demanding that the door of the church hall be opened. A producer was pleading with them to wait for the show to end, fearing that fracas would erupt.
The senator beseeched the officers to allow him to peacefully “hand over the MP” to them, maintaining that both Mr Nyoro and his supporters were ready to cooperate.
“The MP or his supporters must cooperate. We will arrest him come what may. Anybody who thinks they will obstruct us from arresting our target will be met with full force. Let no one try to engage in running battles with our officers,” Murang’a County Criminal Investigations Officer Julius Rutere could be heard telling Mr Kang’ata.
Immediately the show TV was over, Mr Kang’ata sneaked into the hall and urged the moderator to urge the participants who had shown signs of anxiety to remain seated as he took the Kiharu MP to the officers.
The senator later told the Nation that he feared chaos would erupt if the MP’s supporters decided to confront the officers, a move that would have left many injured.
“I did all what I could to save the situation because I realised that if the supporters tried to restrain the officers from arresting the MP, there would have been many casualties. I also did not want the MP to be arrested in an embarrassing manner,” he said.
Mr Kang’ata is a former Kiharu MP and, during his tenure, Mr Nyoro served as the CDF chairman between 2013 and 2017.
The MP was also the chairman of Mr Kang’ata’s election campaigns in 2013.
Their relationship dates back to when Mr Kang’ata was a councillor in Murang’a.
But the two have taken different political routes in President Uhuru Kenyatta’s succession politics.
While Mr Nyoro is a staunch supporter of Deputy President William Ruto, Mr Kang’ata, is known to hide his views on succession politics, though he is largely seen as being pro-Uhuru based on his sentiments in talk shows that he attends.
Last year, President Kenyatta attended the Senator’s wedding at Gathinja Catholic Church where he donated a school bus to Mukangu Secondary School and directed that a road in his village be tarmacked.
On the other hand, Dr Ruto attended Mr Nyoro’s homecoming event at Gaturi Primary School and pledged to have the Murang’a-Kiriaini road tarmacked. It is the road that Mr Nyoro uses when he goes home.
The tarmacking of the road has since begun.
Mr Nyoro has been accompanying the deputy president in his tours, including one in Uganda to visit President Yoweri Museveni.
On his part, Mr Kang’ata accompanied President Kenyatta to the Democratic Republic of Congo during the swearing in ceremony of President Félix Tshisekedi.
But although seen as being pro Uhuru, Mr Kang’ata has never been seen as being fighting Dr Ruto directly, probably because of his previous association with the DP when he was the Kiharu MP.
Those who know the two Murang’a leaders personally have described them in various ways.
"Mr Nyoro is what Kang’ata was in his early political career. Mr Kang’ata used to be a radical leader who would mobilise residents against some discourse. He seems to have mellowed as time goes by and taken a diplomatic stance. I think this may as well help Mr Nyoro as it helped Mr Kang’ata climb the ladder because Mr Nyoro is now well known nationally, thanks to his arrest," said Mr Mwangi Njoroge, a resident of Murang’a town.