By Moses Njagih
Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta kicks off a tour of Mount Kenya region on Friday to solidify his support base, and soften the ground for The National Alliance.
He will also be seeking to marshal the other dominant parties in the region, such as the Alliance Party of Kenya to back his presidential bid.
Uhuru could not have taken his campaigns to the Mount Kenya East block, incorporating the larger Meru and Embu, at a worse time than now, when political leaders there have publicly fallen out to a point of engaging in name-calling that could overshadow the visit.
Uhuru rally to Mount Kenya East, which was set to begin today, was pushed to Friday when the DPM will open TNA’s office in Meru before addressing a rally at Gakoromone Market.
Before addressing the rally, Uhuru will meet with local leaders at the local town Municipal Hall. Uhuru is expected to make a stopover in Nkubu town, the home turf of Energy Minister Kiraitu Murungi, who has reprimanded him for what he calls “underrating other parties in the region”.
On Saturday, Uhuru is expected to proceed to Maua for a rally before touring Igembe North.
He will preside over a fundraiser at Mburiyeru High School in Igembe South. Then he would be in Kianjai market in Kilemi Mwiria’s Tigania West constituency.
One of the organisers said Uhuru’s tour of Embu has been pushed to July 5, when he is expected to meet local leaders before addressing a public rally in the municipal stadium.
He will then proceed to Tharaka Nithi the next day for a meeting in Chuka town. He concludes the tour on July 7 in Tharaka, which borders Mwingi District. The region has been polarised by DPM’s visit. Already, there have been by wrangling among some of the local MPs.
The climax was witnessed on Tuesday in Parliament where members of two camps – one comprising TNA-allied MPs and the other APK’s – held separate news conferences, where strong words were exchanged.
The first to address the Press were MPs supporting TNA – Assistant Ministers Cecily Mbarire, Kareke Mbiuki, and Kilemi Mwiria, and MPs Mburi Muiru and Kareke Mbiuki. They took issue with Kiraitu’s alleged warning to Uhuru that he would ignore other parties in organising his visit at his own peril.