Wa Iria plans to climb Mt Kenya in readiness for presidential race


Murang'a Governor Mwangi wa Iria. [Boniface Gikandi, Standard]

Murang'a Governor Mwangi wa Iria has planned a symbolic expedition to Mount Kenya with a team of aspirants and supporters.

The Usawa Kwa Wote party leader said the expedition in December will also seek to unite Mt Kenya leaders and residents ahead of next year's General Election.

Wa Iria plans to climb the mountain with an estimated 5,000 supporters and aspirants who will vie for various on Usawa Kwa Wote ticket.

The governor seeks to prove his interest to lead the country by hoisting Usawa Kwa Wote Flag at the spot where freedom fighter Kisio Munyao hoisted the Kenyan flag in 1963.

“I am determined to follow in the footsteps of the nationalists who trekked up the mountain that has a lot of significance in the Gema community that settled between Ngong Hills, Garba Tulla and Nyandarua forests," he said.

At the same time, the governor is mobilising residents in the 10 counties of Mt Kenya to register as voters and back his presidential bid.

He said he was following in the footsteps of the late Kiharu MP Kenneth Njindo Matiba and former President Kibaki who vied for the presidency despite intimidation and heckling.

“I will be the first leader from the Gema community to climb the sacred Kirinyaga before starting my campaigns which will be totally different from others," he said.

Mt Kenya's peak, Sirimon Gate. [Mkala Mwaghesha, Standard]

The governor said Usawa Kwa Wote policies include distribution of heifers to the Kenyans to boost their welfare.

Mburu wa Gachui, a Gikuyu elder, said that climbing the mountain has a lot of significance as one will go through the wilderness and thickets before getting to the top.

He said Iria was welcome to have a feeling of the sacred place where the god of the Gikuyu community lives.

“Every morning, the Gema have to look to the mountain in respect to the traditions, and the gesture by the governor is proof he is working hard to take over the regional leadership,” said Gachui, a resident of Narumoro.

Murang’a Kiama Kia Ma Elders chair Kiarie Rugami said Iria will be the first leader to climb the sacred mountain.

“The mountain has a lot of significance in the Gema community as well as those others marking the boundaries of the region that extend to Ngong, Garba Tulla, Aberdare and Kilimambogo,” said Rugami.

The mountain is the tallest in Kenya, at 5,199 feet above sea level, and is believed to be the resting place of Agikuyu god, Mwene Nyaga.

The highest peak is Batian, followed by Nelion and Lenana and it take the mountain climbers five days to go up and back.

The entry points are at Narumoro in Nyeri, Sirimon along Meru-Nanyuki highway and Chogoria in Meru county. 

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