Kiraitu Murungi party to endorse Governor Muriithi as Raila deputy

POLITICS |
Laikipia Governor Ndiritu Muriithi during a briefing with Council of Governors on County revenue allocation formula. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard}

The Devolution Empowerment Party (DEP) associated with Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi has endorsed his Laikipia counterpart Nderitu Muriithi to be ODM leader Raila Odinga’s running mate in the 2022 election.

Party secretary-general Mugambi Imanyara yesterday said the party will hold a National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting where they would endorse Muriithi to the position.

“The Laikipia governor fits the bill for a running mate in our view," said Imanyara.

"He is technically qualified as an articulate and respected economist who has demonstrated governance and leadership acumen as assistant minister in retired President Mwai Kibaki’s government and as governor.”

He was also quick to add that the people of Meru had thrown their weight behind Muriithi “in the interest of good neighbourliness.”

“Meru shares a long boundary with Laikipia County and communities on both sides have shared ancient historical, cultural, economic and political experiences and that is why we feel Muriithi understands our needs,” said Imanyara.

This comes after Raila referred to Muriithi as the Party of National Unity (PNU) leader.

Noteworthy is the fact that Muriithi won the Laikipia governor's seat as an independent candidate in 2017 after he lost in the Jubilee nominations to former governor Joshua Irungu.

Muriithi who is eyeing re-election has hinted at joining PNU, which is led by Agriculture Cabinet Secretary (CS) Peter Munya.

"Yes, I can confirm that there are ongoing talks between myself and PNU about the possibility of my re-run for governorship on the party ticket.

"We had positive discussions," he said in an earlier interview.

But the battle to succeed Uhuru has caused jostling for the leadership of PNU.

Given that PNU enjoys a huge following in Mt Kenya East, the leader who controls the party is seen as having a higher bargaining power for the running mate position.

When Raila toured the region on Monday, Governor Kiraitu was among leaders who accompanied him to Meru, and showed their support for his presidential bid.

Other leaders who have publicly supported Raila's bid include governors Lee Kinyanjui of Nakuru, Francis Kimemia of Nyandarua and Kiambu's James Nyoro.

Another leader from the region who wants to contest the presidency is National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi. 

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