The first Mt Kenya region Building Bridges Initiative meeting, that was to be held in Meru County on February 15, has been postponed to allow national mourning following the death of former President Daniel Moi.
Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi said the event which will bring together 11 counties in the region will now be held at Kinoru Stadium on February 29.
In a recorded broadcast sent to media houses, Mr Murungi said they were honouring President Uhuru Kenyatta’s request that they stop BBI forums until Moi was buried.
He said the meeting will be preceded by a leaders’ meeting from the 11 counties from the region a day earlier, before their resolutions are read in public.
Mr Murungi said various counties from the region, among them Meru, Tharaka Nithi and Embu had already held their local caucuses and were ready for the inaugural regional BBI meeting.
Other regions expected to make their input are Kirinyaga, Laikipia, Nyeri, Nyandarua, Nakuru, Nairobi, Murang’a and Kiambu counties.
“We had planned an elaborate occasion for Mt Kenya region and had started county consultations. Meru leaders met last week and highlighted the issues we want included. We will hold a conference and later make Kinoru declaration that will highlight the issues that concern us,” said Mr Murungi.
Leaders in the region have been busy laying ground for the first BBI meeting following prolonged uncertainty and a wave of harsh words directed at President Uhuru Kenyatta in his Mt Kenya backyard.
However, the Head of State and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga appear to have regained control in the region and are expected to attend the key meeting.
Two weeks ago, Mr Odinga met a section of Mt Kenya region leaders and opinion shapers among then senators, governors and businessmen ostensibly to strategise on BBI approach in the region.
Key among those meetings is the 30-minute round table deliberation between Mr Odinga, Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi, together with Nyandarua Governor Francis Kimemia and officials of the influential Mt Kenya Foundation, Mr Peter Munga and Titus Ibui, where a deal seems to have been struck.
The Mt Kenya foundation was key to President Kenyatta’s re-election bid in 2017 and wields massive power in the region.
The outcome of the Meru BBI forum is very significant and is expected to set pace for other summits in Mt Kenya region.
Mr Murungi said the promises on the revival of key agriculture sub-sectors had calmed his Mt Kenya backyard.
He categorically singled out the appointment of CS Peter Munya as in charge of Agriculture docket, saying trust level had shot up especially in Meru region where he hails from and majority are farmers.
“Uhuru has been fought in his Mt Kenya backyard due to lack of money, (deterioration of) the coffee, tea, potatoes, bananas and miraa. But now we are thankful that for the last two weeks, he has acted and the farmers are set to benefit,” said Mr Murungi.