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Meru leaders rally behind ousted Senate deputy Speaker Kindiki

Saturday May 23 2020

Kithure Kindiki

Tharaka-Nithi Senator Kithure Kindiki addressing residents of Kibunga market in Tharaka constituency on January 27, 2018. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

DAVID MUCHUI
By DAVID MUCHUI
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Several leaders from the Meru region Friday condemned the decision by the Senate to remove Tharaka-Nithi Senator Kithure Kindiki from the position of deputy Speaker.

The MPs from Meru, Embu and Tharaka-Nithi counties accused the Jubilee Party leadership of sidelining the Mt Kenya East region.

Mr Josphat Gichunge (Tigania East), John Mutunga (Tigania West), Mugambi Rindikiri (Buuri), Moses Kirima (Imenti Central), Gitonga Murugara (Tharaka), Patrick Munene (Chuka-Igambang’ombe), Tharaka-Nithi Woman Representative Beatrice Nkatha and Meru Senator Mithika Linturi spoke out in support of Prof Kindiki.

Mr Linturi said it was clear from the onset that the party was determined to remove Prof Kindiki

“We knew we could not save him, but I could not support the motion even at gunpoint. I cannot vote him out because he has not done anything wrong,” Mr Linturi said.

The position was negotiated based on the number of votes the Meru community delivered for Jubilee Party, he said.

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“Despite having been on the frontline fighting for independence, Njuri Ncheke elders had to go to State House to beg Jomo Kenyatta to appoint Jackson Angaine to the Cabinet. History is repeating itself because we backed President Uhuru but he has turned his back on us.”

The senator said they were being victimised for identifying with Deputy President William Ruto.

Mr Linturi also lambasted Majority Leader Irungu Kang’ata over a letter demanding that he “must attend the special sitting and vote in line with the party position.”

In a letter to the majority leader that the Nation has seen, Mr Linturi termed the directive unconstitutional.

‘SACRED DUTY’

“My principal duty is to represent the people of Meru County in the Senate. It would be a serious dereliction of that sacred duty, and a breach of article 10 of the Constitution for me to become a thoughtless automaton that unquestioningly endorses pre-determined outcomes on matters that come up for debate and resolution before the Senate,” he said.

Buuri MP Mugambi Rindikiri said the purge was meant to benefit their former political rivals who have now befriended the government.

Tigania East MP Josphat Kabeabea said their opponents had succeeded in dividing Jubilee into two factions.

“We all support the President 100 per cent. But the question we have is who will inherit him? After 2022, what other support does he need? He should give us space to support whoever we want,” Mr Kabeabea said.

Imenti Central MP Moses Kirima said politicians from the east of Mt Kenya have been sidelined.

His Tigania West counterpart John Mutunga said the removal of Senator Kindiki was done with impunity.

“We are very disappointed. Our friends are short-changing us again. The President is the chief architect of this plot,” Dr Mutunga said.

Tharaka-Nithi Woman Representative Beatrice Nkatha said the removal of Prof Kindiki will leave the county out of government.

“We want the President to tell us what wrong our region has done. He should tell us that our votes are no longer useful within Jubilee,” Mr Munene said.

RECONCILIATORY TONE

Earlier, however, other leaders, including Njuri Ncheke elders, had chosen a reconciliatory tone, pleading with President Kenyatta to forgive Prof Kindiki and intervene to stop the ouster.

Njuri Ncheke chairman Linus Kathera pleaded with the Jubilee Party leader to help suspend the ouster motion and give them time to mediate the dispute.