MP alleges sinister plot to sideline Mt Kenya

Githunguri MP Gathoni Wamuchomba. [Edward Kiplimo, Standard]

Githunguri MP Gathoni Wamuchomba has raised a political storm in Mt Kenya over claims that a handshake between President William Ruto and Opposition leader Raila Odinga is inevitable.

The MP alleged that Ruto could shortchange Mt Kenya region, including Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua, in ongoing bipartisan talks.

Wamuchomba further claimed Ruto was following in the footprints of his predecessor, Uhuru Kenyatta which culminated in the handshake with the ODM leader, which preceded the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).

“We kept asking Uhuru to give us more details of their talks with Raila and just like President Ruto, he kept saying he would not allow Raila into his administration. That is the same route Ruto is taking us,” Wamuchomba said.

She claimed Mt Kenya would be left out in development and the 2027 negotiations “since no leader from the region has taken advantage of the ongoing national dialogue to defend people’s interests.”

“The biggest advantage of our region would be the one man one shilling one vote, but the President summoned us at State House early this year and warned us not to agitate for the same, as that would create divisions,” she said.

Read mischief

The MP said she read mischief in the warning. “But even after being gagged, I decided not to betray my conscience and I went ahead to introduce the National Government Constituency Development Amendment Bill 2023 which seeks to have a ward as the baseline for distribution of the fund.”

She said the proposal seeks to retain the amount allocated to constituencies while those with additional wards get more funding.

She further decried the ‘quality of debate and representation’ in the Senate and the National Assembly, saying the Legislature has gone to bed with the Executive, leaving the electorate to suffer.

“One year after singing hatupangwingwi (we can’t be dictated to) the youth are angry because there is a gap between their representatives who are not representing them,” the MP claimed.

Wamuchomba claimed the Deputy President was left out of the President’s four days tour of Nyanza while the State ‘has been crippling any leader from Mt Kenya who has tried to defend and agitate for its interests.’

“Gachagua was left at his Harambee Annex offices while the President was in Nyanza. After opposing the oppressive and scandalous Finance Act, he descended on my area to attack me. We should be extremely weary and unite,” she said.

However, Nyeri Town MP Dancun Maina, an ally of the DP, castigated Wamuchomba and blamed “external forces for using Mt Kenya leaders to spread disunity narrative and create a wedge between the President and his deputy.”

“All government leaders can’t be in the same place always because that would mean it will take longer for the leaders to cover the country and that is what was happening even during campaigns, if there was a hidden card Gachagua would not have joined the President during the Cabinet meeting in Kisumu,” said the MP.

Maina maintained that Mt Kenya has not been shortchanged and the President has continued to reward it and the individuals who galvanised support for his presidential bid.

“Our President understands the matrix of the voters who put his government into power. Recently, our region got its share of diplomatic posts as lobbied by the DP and this tells you all is well,” he said.

He claimed a planned strategy to disparage Gachagua as the region’s spokesperson, saying they were ready to counter the narrative.

Kirinyaga Woman Representative Njeri Maina doubted whether the President would ditch Mt Kenya, a rich voting bloc. “Any good politician must garner as much political support as they can. That’s merely what the President is doing,” she said.