By Ndungâu Wainaina
The Kibaki succession debate in Central Kenya has awakened bitter exchanges between opposing political camps in the region.
Former powerful Attorney General and Constitutional Affairs Minister Charles Njonjo and retired Anglican Archbishop David Gitari told the Kikuyu community to forget about producing the next President.
"You all know that we produced the first President of the republic in President Mzee Jomo Kenyatta. President Kibaki is also a son of our community," said Gitari.
Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta [Photo: File/Standard]
The two who spoke at a church fundraiser in Kirinyaga County said it will be selfishness of the highest order for the community to expect to produce a successor to President Kibaki in elections expected next year.
Njonjo and Gitari are among a few Central Kenya leaders seen to be supporting Prime Minister Raila Odingaâs bid to succeed Kibaki.
"How selfish would we be to think that we should be producing yet another president of the republic?" Njonjo told the congregation at the Anglican Church of Kenya St Mathews Church in Ngiriambu, Gichugu District.
Njonjo urged leaders from the Kikuyu community to opt out of the race and allow leaders from other tribes to contest for the presidency or at the very least to support a candidate coming from other communities for the presidency.
Dr Gitari spoke while delivering the Sunday sermon, while Njonjo spoke to the congregation before the fundraiser for the proposed Samuel Mukumba Gitari Health Centre.
To be located within the church grounds, the facility is in honour of the late father of Bishop Gitari who was one of the first African Anglican missionaries in the country.
According to a reliable source, leading presidential candidate Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta sent a donation and his camp was disappointed the fundraiser ended up being a platform to campaign for other political interests.