MPs allied to President Uhuru Kenyatta Monday claimed the Head of State could have been impeached if it were not for his handshake with opposition leader Raila Odinga.
Nominated MP Maina Kamanda who is emerging as a leader of Mt Kenya MPs opposed to Deputy President William Ruto succeeding President Kenyatta in 2022 said the Jubilee Party leader could have been sent home even by MPs from Central Kenya due to “money and greed.”
MONEY AND GREED
Speaking in Limuru during the burial of MP Peter Mwathi’s relative, Mr Kamanda, who was accompanied by 15 MPs from Jubilee Party and ODM, said the handshake strengthened President Kenyatta's leadership and backing in Parliament.
“The Head of State could have now been let down including by his own people if it were not for handshake,” Mr Kamanda said.
Mr Kamanda was accompanied by politicians Joshua Kutuny, Caleb Amisi, Anthony Oluoch, Mercy Gakuya, Gathoni wa Muchomba, Beatrice Adagala, Nkatha Nyaga, Jonah Mburu and Kiambu deputy governor James Nyoro. National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi was also present.
The leaders backed President Kenyatta’s war against graft and demanded that investigative agencies help recover assets accrued from graft adding that the vice was fighting back.
The leaders gave an example of a first term governor whom they said had bought two houses in Runda, Nairobi, worth more than Sh300 million from alleged graft proceeds.
They also demanded for leaders who give huge cash donations in churches to explain the source of their wealth. The leaders spoke as some Mt Kenya leaders pushed for Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri to help unite two Jubilee Party rival groups ahead of the 2022 elections.
In a meeting attended by Mr Kiunjuri, Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi, Laikipia Senator John Kinyua and MPs Kirima Nguchine, Patrick Munene and his Buuri counterpart Mugambi Rindikiri called for an urgent meeting to unite the Kieleweke and Tanga Tanga groups. Separately, Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru, Nyeri’s Mutahi Kahiga, Murang’a senator Irungu Kangata, and MPs Peter Kimari, Ndindi Nyoro and Kimani Ichung’wa dismissed Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria’s formation of a political party to inherit President Uhuru Kenyatta’s huge following in the region when he retires in 2022 saying the move was retrogressive.
In Meru, the governor Murungi group said the vote-rich Mt Kenya region which had produced two presidents in the last four terms now looked disjointed and vulnerable to exploitation.
“We don’t want to hear Tanga Tanga who are loitering disturbing people. We also don’t want to hear about Kieleweke. We need unity, just the way we sat to break APK and GNU to form Jubilee, a time has come to sit down and plan,” said Mr Murungi. Speaking at St John AIPCA Kiborione during the launch of the church Sacco, the leaders said the region had no designated successor to President Kenyatta. Senator Kinyua, Mr Nguchine, Mr Munene and Mr Rindikiri tasked Mr Kiunjuri and Mr Murungi to convene a meeting to come up with a meeting that would mediate between the two groups that had already taken sides.
They said the two were senior and experienced politicians in the region capable of fitting in President Kenyatta’s shoes and should ensure that Mt Kenya has influence in the post-Kenyatta government.
“In the previous elections, we were prepared by President Uhuru but his term is ending. Now, we are just talking about 2022 politics but how prepared are we? The two of you were at the forefront of the second liberation and cannot abdicate this responsibility,” said Mr Munene.
Mr Nguchine, who is also the AIPCA chancellor, Mr Kinyua and Mr Rindikiri said the region was firmly in Jubilee government and would support Deputy President William Ruto when the time comes. “We went round campaigning for President Kenyatta and he said that after he serves fort two terms he would support Mr Ruto to take over in 2022. AIPCA is a church that fought for the independence of this country and doesn’t break promises,” said Mr Nguchine.
The leaders said the task that lay ahead was ensuring that the region was united and suggested that either Mr Kiunjuri or Mr Murungi positions themselves as Mr Ruto’s running mate.
But when they stood to address the faithful, the CS and the governor took a conciliatory approach and said they would consult the Head of State on the way forward.
Mr Murungi said the fact that Mt Kenya had over six million votes demanded that they have an influential say in the coming government.
“Politics is about taking care of your interests and we will not approach it foolishly. Ruto is our friend, but as Meru people, we he will need to sit with us and tell us what is there for us. We hear of water dams worth billions of shillings but here, there is only a sewerage project worth Sh1 billion,” he said.
Mr Kiunjuri said he was ready to convene a meeting that will bring together a cross section of leaders, to come up with one name that will speak on behalf of the region.
“We must first unite as Mt Kenya and put our house in order. We are responsible to our people and should convene a meeting in Limuru and chart the way forward. I will endorse whoever is selected, whether it is Kiraitu, (CS Peter) Munya, (former Kiambu governor William) Kabogo or anyone else,” he said.
In an interview with the Nation, Ms Waiguru, Mr Kahiga, Mr Kangata, Mr Kimari, Mr Nyoro and Mr Ichung’wa termed Mr Kuria’s formation of Transformation National Alliance which is reminiscent of the defunct The National Alliance that teamed up with URP to take back the presidency in 2013 as a pipe-dream as Mt Kenya will remain a Jubilee Party base.
By Lucas Barasa, Ndungu Gachane and Charles Wanyoro