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Kikuyu elders now join clamour for Cabinet appointments

Sunday December 31 2017

Kikuyu elders in a past prayer event. FILE

Kikuyu elders in a past prayer event. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

GAKUU MATHENGE
By GAKUU MATHENGE
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The Kikuyu Council of Elders has called on President Uhuru Kenyatta to generously reward the community with government positions for the support central Kenya accorded him in this year’s election.

At the same time, they have warned they will not accept appointments that confirm and entrench continued “marginalisation of the majority”.

Speaking to the Nation, the councils’ secretary-general, Rev Peter Munga, said the elders would hold their annual prayers and a meeting at the Agikuyu ancestral shrine at Mukurwe wa Nyagathanga in Murang’a County today where they are expected to issue a joint statement on the way forward.

Their new stance further complicates the math for President Kenyatta who is also their patron since he has expressed the intention to unite the country by reaching out to even regions that did not support him in the last poll when crafting his Cabinet.

APPOINTMENTS

The elders said the region overwhelmingly voted for Jubilee Party and deserved proper representation in the Cabinet and other appointments.

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The council also faulted the region’s elected leaders for remaining mum on appointments at a time those who were opposed to Mr Kenyatta’s re-election were mounting pressure on him to appoint them.

The elders also said distribution of membership and leadership positions for critical committees in the National Assembly also left a lot to be desired.

The council also urged the President not to shy away from triggering by-elections in his search for “strong generals” for his Cabinet.

“There are leaders with proven records in their past assignments in the public service. The President should not be limited to the so-called professionals. In central Kenya, we have strong leaders with proven records in service delivery in Kipipiri or Ndaragwa constituencies for instance,” Rev Munga said.

POWER-SHARING

Kipipiri and Ndaragwa constituencies are represented by former Finance Minister Amos Kimunya and Jeremiah Kioni, the former Party of National Unity Chief Whip.

In 2015, Deputy President William Ruto triggered a by-election in Kericho County after he appointed former Senator Charles Keter the Cabinet Secretary for Energy, one of the dockets under his United Republic Party in the power-sharing pact with and President Kenyatta’s then party, The National Alliance.

“The council has opted to make our concerns known because our elected leaders are silent when they should be speaking. We are concerned that they are silent on the way committee leadership positions are being distributed in Parliament. Majority Leader Adan Duale distributed membership and leadership positions of the Agriculture committee in a manner that did not inspire confidence,” said Rev Munga.

POLITICAL MATTERS

Fear of retribution for speaking up on sensitive political matters, and unresolved bad blood arising from the aftermath of Jubilee nominations mid this year, left the region’s political leadership deeply split, and hardly able to address any matter from a common front.

“To date, they are unable to constitute the regional parliamentary caucus, they are unable to present a united front in Parliament and stand up to apparent bullying by Mr Adan Duale in the National Assembly and Mr Kipchumba Murkomen in the Senate. They are unable to articulate the present needs of the region. The President serves the whole country, but our elected leaders are silent on our concerns,” said Rev Munga.

He added that the council will publish a raft of critical matters the region expected the Jubilee administration to address in the second term after making promises in the first term and failing to deliver.