Give Kawira some breathing space, Meru leaders urged

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua speaks during a church service at Nanyuki Stadium, Laikipia County, on January 8, 2023. [PCS]

Meru MCAs on Sunday met Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua in Nyeri in the company of 12 area MPs.

During the session, they said Governor Kawira Mwangaza must be pushed to involve all elected leaders to spur development.

The MCAs and MPs travelled to Gachagua's rural home in Hiriga for the meeting just days after the DP met the MPs separately at his official residence in Karen, Nairobi.

Gachagua left Nanyuki, where he had attended a church service with President William Ruto, to attend the meeting.

According to meeting sources, the MCAs spoke passionately about their commitment to teamwork in the county, but blamed Governor Mwangaza for forcing them to take the last resort after she denied them any opportunity to have a direct say on development in their own backyards.

While they acknowledged that the governor had sought the Controller of Budget's opinion on their proposed Ward Development Fund, which the latter had dismissed as lacking legal support, they also said the previous two regimes had granted them the same leeway purely on the basis of political goodwill.

"Our point is that the MCA's weight is felt on the ground when projects that residents value are implemented.

"The governor receives dividends as the county's head, and the MCA receives the same as the grassroots leader," one of the MCAs who spoke at the session explained.

They also said they were eager to meet the governor at another reconciliation forum to be convened by Gachagua after returning from a benchmarking tour to Arusha, Tanzania.

Gachagua promised to relay the message, as well as the message of the MPs, to Governor Mwangaza, whom he will first meet in an exclusive meeting before convening another meeting of all elected Meru leaders.

According to meeting sources, there were also friendly fires between the Meru leadership, which Gachagua promised to put out with more regular consultations.

He also asked the MCAs to give Governor Mwangaza some "breathing space," blaming her blunders on political inexperience, saying she had risen from a single term woman representative to governor of a diverse and expansive county.

This comes as the only Meru MCA who opposed the impeachment of Mwangaza said he is being isolated. Kiagu Ward’s Simon Ngaruni said he was being vilified and isolated “as a result of exercising my democratic choice.” 

Ngaruni said he was barred from attending meetings of committees he was a member of.

The Standard
Get unlimited access to The Standard website!