Feuding Kiambu leaders bury the hatchet, vow to work together

Kiambu Senator Kimani Wamatangi addresses the media after chairing a meeting in Nairobi yesterday to resolve differences between the county's top leaders. [Kamau Maichuhie, Standard]
County leaders who have been embroiled in bitter political wrangles have finally buried the hatchet and agreed to work together.

The politicians yesterday held a four-hour meeting in a Nairobi hotel and later announced they had ironed out their differences.

Governor Ferdinand Waititu has been at loggerheads with his deputy James Nyoro, who last week caused a storm when he spilled the beans on how the two had fallen out.

Mr Nyoro accused his boss of being a lone ranger and sidelining him in the running of county affairs.

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The governor has also been at loggerheads with Senator Kimani Wamatangi and Woman Representative Gathoni Wamuchomba over his leadership style.

The leaders have accused Waititu of sidelining them on key matters concerning the county.

Shouting match

The differences played out in the open during an event in Kikuyu attended by Deputy President William Ruto. The function turned into a shouting match.

Waititu, Nyoro, Wamuchomba and a host of MPs attended the Nairobi meeting convened by Wamatangi to find a lasting truce.

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Addressing journalists after the meeting, Wamatangi said they had reached a consensus on several simmering issues.

“I want to tell the people of Kiambu that we had discussions between the woman representative, governor, deputy governor and myself and agreed on a good, comfortable working relationship. From now onward, we shall resolve any emerging issues as per the law and the Constitution."

The senator said they had resolved to work as a team, adding that this included holding regular consultations.

“We resolved to ensure the level of integrity touching on all elected leaders will be raised to impeccable levels such that the people of Kiambu can have confidence in us.”

The senator announced that all leaders would hold quarterly meetings to deliberate over crucial county matters.

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Waititu said he had agreed to work with other leaders for the benefit of residents, adding that conflict was normal when people worked together.

He pledged that they would henceforth try to resolve their problems internally whenever there was any misunderstanding instead of fighting in public.

“We have unanimously agreed that if we fail to work for the people, we will be voted out just like the ones we succeeded were voted out in last year’s election. The four remaining years are few and we have agreed that we must stick together.”

Nyoro expressed satisfaction with the outcome of the meeting.

Outstanding issue

“We have agreed with the governor that we will henceforth work together. All other outstanding issues that were in contention have been resolved,” the deputy governor said.

Wamuchomba also said she had buried the hatchet with Waititu.

The woman rep has been at the forefront of castigating the governor over an alcohol addicts’ rehabilitation programme that has seen nearly 5,000 addicts added to the county government payroll.

The project is expected to cost taxpayers Sh300 million in six months.

Under the programme, the addicts are paid Sh400 a day. In return, they do manual work such as clearing bushes and trenches, and collecting garbage.

Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria said the outcome of the meeting was good for the people of Kiambu.

Among the MPs who attended the meeting were Jude Njomo (Kiambu town), Kimani Ichung'wa (Kikuyu), Moses Kuria (Gatundu South), Gabriel Kago (Githunguri), Githua Wamachukuru (Kabete), Wanjiku Kibe (Gatundu North) and Simon Kiang’ara (Ruiru).

Thika MP Patrick Wainaina, who is out of the country on official duty, sent his apologies.

Others who sent their apologies were Jonah Mburu (Lari), Paul Koinange (Kiambaa), Peter Mwathi (Limuru) and Francis Waititu (Juja).

Kiambu leadersFerdinand Waititugathoni wamuchombaSenator Kimani Wamatangi