Raila Odinga brokers another Kiraitu-Munya truce

Peter Munya, Raila Odinga and Kiraitu Murungi. [George Kaimenyi, Standard]

Azimio la Umoja One Kenya presidential candidate Raila Odinga yesterday negotiated yet another truce between Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi and Agriculture CS Peter Munya.

Speaking after an endorsement as the preferred candidate by the Njuri Ncheke Council of Ameru Elders at their main shrine in Nchiru in Tigania West in Meru, Mr Odinga said it was in the interest of Azimio that the two main local leaders work in harmony.

Yesterday Mr Odinga, just like he did in Chuka during the BBI forums, called the two to the podium as the elders and leaders applauded his effort to bring them together.

He said because they were on his side and he wanted them to work together as he goes for the presidency, they had to shake hands. “For us to provide the best services to all the people of Meru, I want you to greet one another before us.”

The two shook hands with Mr Odinga standing between them, to cheers from the elders. 

Kiraitu and Munya have been reading from different scripts, even after a brokered pact that saw the latter agree to forgo his gubernatorial ambitions with the hope of being retained as a Cabinet Secretary to allow Kiraitu an easier defence of his seat.

The negotiations that bore this agreement had seen Kiraitu argue that he needed a decent exit after six terms as an elected leader - the longest by an active Mt Kenya leader.

Kiraitu has lately accused Munya of supporting independent candidate Kawira Mwangaza, who, alongside UDA’s Mithika Linturi, are challenging his reelection.

Kiraitu had publicly announced he was backing a UDA’s Josephat Gichunge against Munya and Azimio ally Mpuru Aburi in Tigania East.

Led by the council’s Chair Linus Kathera, Secretary General Washington Muthamia (Programmes) and Josphat Murangiri (Operations), the elders hosted Mr Odinga, his running mate Martha Karua and other allies at their Nchiru Shrine in Tigania West, where they declared their support for his bid.

In a visit that also took him to Kianjai in Tigania and Maili Tatu in miraa region of Igembe, Mr Odinga was accompanied by Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho, Nairobi’s Anne Kananu, Cotu boss Francis Atwoli, Raphael Tuju and others.

Also present were Meru Deputy Governor Titus Ntuchiu and Mr Aburi.

The Njuri Ncheke installed Mr Odinga as a Meru elder, because local culture does not allow a non-Meru to be installed as a Njuri elder.

It was former Nyambene MP Joseph Mutuuria, Ntuchiu and Kiraitu who pointed out the significance of Mr Odinga stepping into the shrine.

“This is hallowed grounds; not everybody comes here. This is the seat of Meru Government. Mzee Kenyatta and Moi, Kibaki, Uhuru were here for our blessings. Now you are here for our blessings. We have given you our blessings and you are going to be our president,” said Mutuuria.

As he accepted the elders and Meru leaders’ blessings, a happy Mr Odinga gave a lengthy presentation that included several pledges for Meru. “I am overwhelmed with happiness for your installing me as an elder. You have showed me great respect,” he said.