Leaders dismiss new parties, want political groups folded


From left: Kenya Veterinary Vaccines Production Institute Director Beatrice Kiragu, Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri, AIPCA Archbishop Samson Muthuri, Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi and Imenti Central MP Moses Kirima arrive for a funds drive at St John AIPCA in Buuri on Sunday. [Darlington Manyara, Standard]

Leaders from Mt Kenya region have warned that the move by politicians to register new parties is a plot to divide the electorate.

Speaking in separate functions, the leaders said there was need for the Jubilee leadership to convene an urgent meeting to stem the growing divisions.

Their sentiments followed the registration of Transformation National Alliance Party (TNAP) by Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria.

Murang’a Senator Irungu Kang’ata and Mathioya MP Peter Kimari described the move as “untimely and a plan to undermine President Uhuru Kenyatta”.

Political tricks

Mr Kang’ata said Uhuru required support to accomplish his development agenda, adding that any attempt to “intimidate” him through political tricks would fail.

“Anybody interested in the presidency should seek nomination through Jubilee,” he said.

In Meru, leaders who attended a funds drive at St John AIPCA in Buuri spoke of the need to engage in “coordinated regional politics to ensure they got a larger slice of the national cake”.

The leaders, who included Laikipia Senator John Kinyua, Chuka Igamba Ng’ombe MP Patrick Munene, Mugambi Rindiki (Buuri) and Moses Kirima (Imenti Central) called for the disbandment of teams ‘Kieleweke’ and ‘Tangatanga’, which they said could cause divisions in the region and derail development.

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri and Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi, who also attended the funds drive, were tasked to engage members of the two groups.

Mr Kiraitu called on residents to interrogate leaders who had professed presidential aspirations, adding that there was need to come up with a political strategy to ensure the bloc’s seven million votes were well utilised.

“Politics is like fire; do not get into politics foolishly. As a region we do not vote foolishly anymore. Politics must be planned. That is why we need to sit down and plan for the mountain region politics. We do not want to hear there is a team called ‘Tangatanga’ or ‘Kieleweke’ going round disturbing people,” he said.

The governor said that other regions could easily take advantage of the splinter groups rivalry and divide the bloc’s votes.

“We hear of Sh30 billion dams being constructed in Rift Valley. Here in Meru the biggest project we have is Sh1 billion for sewerage. That is why we need to be focused so that we benefit fully in the next government after 2022.”

In reference to the political alignments in Mt Kenya, Mr Kiunjuri said the clergy, politicians and other leaders from the region had a responsibility to unite the people.

He expressed confidence that the “experience of politicians like Kiraitu and other senior leaders” would be pivotal in bringing the region’s people together.

“I agree with the elected leaders that we should also plan and focus as a region because if we do not plan for ourselves, we will be outshone by others. We have to stay united as leaders because we will not benefit when we are divided.”

Kiunjuri also waded into the emotive issue of whether the clergy should accept donations from leaders, saying that the history of politicians and the Church “was widely known”.

Mr Munene asked voters from the region to trust and support their elected leaders as they prepared for the 2022 General Election.

“We have to ask ourselves, if Ruto, Raila or any other leader becomes president, will we be in government?” posed the MP.