Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru now says that Central Kenya will wait for President Uhuru Kenyatta to give them political direction on who to support in the 2022 General Election.
Waiguru recently caused a political stir by declaring that central Kenya was ready to embrace former Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s candidature.
But after coming under attack from politicians allied to Deputy President William Ruto, the governor appeared to beat a hasty retreat, saying she was not opposed to any politician visiting the vote-rich region to woo residents.
Waiguru yesterday reiterated that Mt Kenya would listen to all suitors, but no decision would be reached on who to support for the presidency without Uhuru’s blessings.
“As leaders from this region, we will be guided by our Jubilee Party leader Uhuru Kenyatta on the best way forward at the General Election,” she said at the Kerugoya Referral Hospital when she opened a new theatre.
The governor, however, added that the region would lean towards a candidate who takes care of their interests and supports an expanded Executive “to ensure that the political interests of many communities are taken care of”.
Her statement appears to be aimed at Ruto and his allies, who have opposed calls to amend the Constitution to expand the Executive.
Their defiance has been seen as an attack on the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) that is backed by Uhuru and Raila.
The task-force, which is expected to release its report later this month, is said to be in favour of creating the positions of prime minister and two deputies as a way of ensuring that more communities are represented in the Executive.
Waiguru said the region would not blindly give any of the presidential contenders its support, adding that there would have to be negotiations and a mutual agreement prior to the elections on how the region would benefit.
The governor also accused politicians she did not name of working to divide the region for personal gain.
“I am urging all leaders from the region to remain united and shun those trying to introduce divisive politics in the area. We must guard this region at all cost since it is only here where disruption of public gatherings is occurring, and it continues to dent our community’s image,” she said.
The Jubilee Party is currently wracked with divisions pitting two camps, Kieleweke and Tangatanga, against each other.