Fired Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri says his sacking was not surprising, since he had been humiliated (publicly).
Although he did not link his dismissal to his political stand on the internal wrangles in the Jubilee Party between President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto, Mr Kiunjuri said he would remain independent and firm.
In a four-page statement on Tuesday, Dr Ruto’s pointman in Laikipia told those celebrating his downfall that he is "going nowhere" and will react if provoked.
“I have courage, determination and faith, knowing that it will be bumpy and challenging. I shall remain independent, principled and firm as I have been throughout my political career,” said the 50-year-old former tout in Nanyuki.
He rose to fame among the Kikuyu community thanks to his mastery of Kikuyu proverbs and knowledge of the community's idioms.
On Tuesday, he said: "Mumagari ni wa njua igiri (a person on a journey should be prepared for any eventuality), exuding confidence that he would get another opportunity to serve the public.
Accompanied by Laikipia Senator John Kinyua and the county's Speaker Patrick Waigwa, Mr Kiunjuri said he was relieved to be dismissed. This is because, he said, he was put on the spot several times over maize imports and an alleged scandal at the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB).
In October 2018, President Kenyatta was caught on tape ranting at Mr Kiunjuri and NCPB officials over misappropriation of funds budgeted for maize farmers.
“The President’s decision has not taken me by surprise. I thank God and feel relieved having, in the recent past, gone through a most difficult year, which on a number of occasions threatened my energy and resolve. Some of you know I have endured a lot of humiliation and only God and my immediate family know how this made me feel,” Mr Kiunjuri said.
Insisting that his friendship with the President remained intact, Mr Kiunjuri downplayed speculation that his sacking was intended to trim his political ambitions, since he is seen as a potential successor of the President as the Mt Kenya kingpin.
During a funeral service in Mathira, Nyeri County, last week, Mr Kiunjuri told the DP that the Mt Kenya region is known for keeping its promises, referring to an earlier statement by the President that Kikuyus would support DR Ruto’s presidential bid.
“Even God says that if you break a covenant, there will be consequences. Likewise, for the people of Central, you made a covenant and you should be sure not to break it,” he said.
He joined the Cabinet in December 2015 as head of the Devolution docket, after being in the political cold since 2013 when he lost the Laikipia gubernatorial race.
“I’m glad that President Kenyatta acknowledged that agricultural production at all levels has gone up and I have gained immeasurable experience and exposure. I had an insider’s view of how the government works courtesy of President Kenyatta,” he said.