A meeting between a group of former legislators from Central Kenya and Opposition leader Raila Odinga last week has opened intense hostility between sitting and former MPs in the region.
The three hour closed door meeting appears to have caused panic among some elected leaders in the region, deepening their mistrust with their rivals which started with Jubilee Party primaries last year.
The group that met Raila last week comprises of individuals who unsuccessfully vied in the 2017 elections as independent candidates after they claimed they were rigged out of Jubilee primaries.
The ex-legislators issued a statement on Friday, accusing a section of sitting MPs of fighting the handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition Raila Odinga on March 9.
Former Mukurweini MP Kabando wa Kabando said there was a section of MPs from Central Kenya who were fighting the Uhuru-Raila Building Bridges initiative.
“With the handshake, the "insult Raila business venture" has collapsed in Central Kenya. Political leaders desperate for relevance are now left with only the option of fighting these who are pro-Handshake,” said Kabando.
The former MP said it was obvious that the region was now divided into two distinct camps – those supporting the crackdown on corruption and those seeking to sabotage the same.
“We have chosen to be with Uhuru all the way and to accept his deal with Raila for our motherland to re-unite and prosper,” said Kabando.
Former Tetu MP Ndung’u Githinji said their meeting with Raila did not dwell on any 2022 political agenda but was purely meant for the welfare of the country in the wake of the handshake between the two leaders.
He said they did not discuss on President Kenyatta’s succession but the rigorous journey ahead of uniting the country.
“We assure those insulting us that we respect all elected leaders in Kenya, starting with those from our region but we are no captives and will no longer stock any phobia,” said Githinji.
Former Kigumo MP Jamleck Kamau wondered on whose behalf some of the leaders were insulting them.
“We want to tell the skeptics that the train for reforming Kenya is now leaving the station and we should all board or be rendered irrelevant,” said Mr Kamau.
Statements by the former legislators come against claims by a section of MPs from the region that they were being used by Raila to divide the region ahead of 2022 General Election.
Among the leaders who endorsed the statement included former Murang’a senator Kembi Gitura, Former MPs Joshua Toro(Kandara), Jamleck Kamau (Kigumo), Kabando Kabando(Mukuruwe-ini), Ndung’u Githinji (Tetu), David Ngugi(North Kinangop) and Wambugu Nyamu.
Others were Essau Kioni, Dr Njururi Mutahi and Mount Kenya Professionals Association.
Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua is one of the leaders who came out guns blazing, accusing Raila of seeking to divide Central Kenya voting block ahead of 2022.
Gachagua claimed the NASA leader was keen to wreck the Jubilee Party ahead of the 2022 General Election and was using some leaders who were rejected by the people in last year’s election.
“Mr Odinga is now trying to create mischief in Jubilee because we have elected leaders in Mount Kenya who should talk on behalf of the people,” said Mr Gachagua.