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Last minute cancellation of Uhuru’s Murang'a visit angers locals

Sunday November 10 2019

NDUNG'U GACHANE
By NDUNG'U GACHANE
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Anger, frustrations and disbelief have greeted the last minute cancellation of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s visit in Murang’a County.

The Sunday tour of the county was called off for unknown reasons.

Residents and faithful had arrived at the ACK church in Kenol as early as 7am in bid to beat the bureaucracy of the presidential detail and settled in tents which had been set up awaiting President Kenyatta’s arrival.

PRESIDENT'S SECURITY

The head of State was expected to attend Sunday service at the church and then participate in a fundraiser.

By 7.30am, armed uniformed and paramilitary presidential security detail had arrived at the venue and took over the screening of people while others stood in strategic positions around the incomplete church building.

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The faithful and journalists were subjected to thorough screening.

Government officials from central region including Regional Commissioner Wilfred Nyagwanga and top police bosses had arrived to ensure security was tight in anticipation of the President’s arrival.

MPs Mary Waithira (Maragua), Peter Kimari (Mathioya), Muturi Kigano (Kangema), nominated Senator Isaac Mwaura and former Mathira MP Peter Weru had arrived in time to welcome the President.

VEHICLES LEAVE

But at around 10.30am, security vehicles which are normally present at presidential functions started leaving the venue.

Officers screening the locals abandoned the work, a move that threw the congregation into disarray.

Leaders were treated to confusion and frustration as they did not know what was happening. It seemed they had not been briefed that the President had cancelled his visit.

They left their seats and could be seen being briefed by a State House official.

NOT AWARE

Murang’a Senator Irungu Kang’ata told the Nation by phone that he was not aware that the President had cancelled his visit.

“I don’t have information that he is not coming. By this morning the President had still confirmed that he was to come. I don’t know what happened,” he said.

At around 11am, Cabinet Secretaries Fred Matiang’i (Interior), James Macharia (Transport) and Joe Mucheru (ICT) arrived to represent the President at the function.

They were accompanied by Murang'a Governor Mwangi Wa Iria.

Leaders who did not wish to be quoted were angry at the turn of events, some even saying that the President only comes to the region during burials.

“It is very unfortunate that the President has continually avoided his region which voted for him wholeheartedly without a good reason. He in fact made the deputy president not to visit Kandara to avoid mix up. It is sad,” one politician told the Nation.

Some leaders attributed the cancellation of the President’s visit to a low turn-out and political intrigues.

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