Leaders from Mt Kenya region have intensified their hunt for a regional kingpin with a section of politicians urging Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri to come out strongly and unite the area under one political party.
The leaders from Laikipia, Meru and Nyandarua counties expressed concern that the regional voting bloc was disintegrating and that political greenhorns were clamouring for the position.
Speaking during the burial of a relative to Mr Kiunjuri’s Personal Assistant in Ntugi, Meru County, Laikipia Senator John Kinyua, Buuri MP Mugambi Rindikiri, Laikipia Speaker Patrick Waigwa and his Nyandarua counterpart Ndegwa Wahome said the CS was only second to Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi in political experience in the region.
They argued that on this basis, CS Kiunjuri was the best man to take on other national leaders on behalf of the region.
Mr Kiunjuri has been in the forefront in calling for regional unity and often uses Kikuyu proverbs and riddles to drive his point home.
Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru has also been seeking backing to unite the region that is widely considered President Uhuru Kenyatta’s backyard.
In the past, the CS has joined Mr Murungi in calling for a caucus to pick the leader who can take over once Mr Kenyatta exits as the regional spokesperson ahead of 2022.
Mr Waigwa said the formation of a political party was urgent to enable regional leaders mobilise support ahead of the General Election.
“We urge you to get ready and give us a political party with which we will bargain for power in 2022. We need our own tent. We will judge you harshly if Mt Kenya region loses direction and lacks a political party to guide it in the next General Election,” the Laikipia Speaker said.
Senator Kinyua asked Mr Kiunjuri to prepare himself early, noting that he was fit to represent the region.
“Mr Kiunjuri has been in political leadership since his youth. He should now visit all parts of the country to spread this unity message. We are in dire need of unity as a region,” he said.
Nyandarua Speaker Ndegwa Wahome, in a veiled reference to Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru, said they would not allow greenhorns to lead the region.
“CS Kiunjuri is one of the longest serving politicians in the region, with only five years behind Governor Kiraitu. Since Kiraitu is advanced in age, Mr Kiunjuri is best placed to lead Mt Kenya ...We will give you consent to represent us,” he said.
Buuri MP Mugambi Rindikiri said the region was ready to back Deputy President William Ruto in 2022 alongside a running mate from Mt Kenya.
“As leaders from this region, we have appointed CS Kiunjuri to visit all parts of the country and unite our people wherever they are,” he said.
While declaring himself a member of Tangatanga, Mr Rindikiri accused opposition leader Raila Odinga of undermining the deputy president.
“I have no choice but to support DP Ruto because we have now realised that this BBI was meant to oppose him. We now know that the BBI is not up to any good. The money used in coming up with the BBI report should have gone to creating jobs for the youth,” Mr Rindikiri said.
Mr Kiunjuri stressed the need for unity, warning that the region would be caught unawares if it does not put its house in order.
“I see a storm coming and shaking up the house. In the confusion, the birds will be busy feeding on our crops as we expect a harvest. We will be reduced to yes-people if we do not prepare. Who will speak for us when we face the others? A wise farmer prepares the land before the rains,” Mr Kiunjuri said.
He hit out at leaders who were using the BBI to attack others.
“Why do you insist that I do not support BBI yet I have made my position clear? You should not use BBI to divide the country because we are already peaceful,” the CS said.