By Wainaina Ndung’u
The DPM toured the larger Meru where he hard a tough time trying to please loyal lieutenants without antagonising a radical camp coalescing around senior Meru politician and Cabinet minister Kiraitu Murungi.
He held rallies at Gakoromone in Meru town. A late evening rally planned for Makutano in the newly created Buuri Constituency was called off.
Uhuru urged TNA supporters in Meru region to avoid conflicts as witnessed recently through ugly exchanges between Kiraitu and his allies on one side and pro-Uhuru diehards such as Assistant minister Kareke Mbiuki and Igembe South MP Mithika Linturi on the other.
The Energy minister’s key supporter, Nkubu town councillor and Alliance Party of Kenya (APK) Meru County Secretary Alhaji Mwendia said Uhuru’s visit deliberately concentrated in Meru North avoiding the Imenti area where Kiraitu is seen as having considerable influence.
Mwendia said Uhuru retained impeccable ties with Kiraitu and they were still working on a formula to unite parties supporting Uhuru’s presidential bid.
“Our understanding is that Uhuru recognises Kiraitu as an important front man in Meru region. We are even made to believe that he was committed to joining the bus party until influential former Kanu officials convinced him to form a new outfit because they feared being wiped out of circulation,” said Mwendia.
Uhuru, whose rallies attracted sizeable crowds, steered clear of local politics choosing instead to concentrate on national issues and development. He spoke about boosting the miraa economy through building of feeder roads and the Isiolo International Airport.
But while opening the Maua TNA office on Saturday, the DPM delved into the issue of popularity contest between local leaders. Speaking shortly after area MP Linturi had a lukewarm reception there and earlier at Kianjai in the newly created Igembe Central constituency, Uhuru ruled out direct nominations for aspirants in TNA.
“I got many friends, including Linturi, but when I stand here I can only campaign for myself,” said the DPM.