Debate on who the Mt. Kenya block will vote for may have been settled following the proverb-ridden sentiments by Mwangi Kiunjuri and the subsequent opinion of grassroots leaders declaring that the matter of Deputy President’s support in 2022 is a now a done deal.
Kiunjuri, the Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture, is considered among the most in?uential politicians in the region and a candidate for a Mt. Kenya’s kingpin status to replace President Uhuru Kenyatta.
His competitors at that level include Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru, Cabinet Secretary for Trade Peter Munya, Murang’a Governor Mwangi wa Iria among others.
Kiunjuri is considered as part of the Kitchen Cabinet of President Kenyatta thus giving his opinion more weight.
His political party, Grand National Union gave a Kenyatta’s TNA a run for its money the region in 2013, with most of its candidates coming second.
In the run-up to 2017 elections Kenyatta requested the three-time Laikipia East MP not to run for Laikipia governor’s position opting to have him play a role in his administration.
Speaking in Kikuyu at a Church event in Dogoretti South constituency in the presence of the Deputy President, Kiunjuri put emphasis on why Mt. Kenya voters will not change from the promise made in 2012.
He used a litany of proverbs in a poetic manner, a growing brand of his political speech, to rally the region behind Ruto as a reciprocal gesture to the support he has given to the people of Mt.Kenya.
“Good is paid by good. There is no way a friend will rescue you from a leopard and then let that friend be eaten by the same leopard. The journey is long and a leopard is hunted by a man and his in-law,” said the former teacher and tout, now estimated to be worth over Sh800 million according to his wealth declaration data.
“When a grass-thatched hut catches fire, it usually spreads it to a similar thatched hut. “When the time comes, we must travel along the journey the same way we travelled before. Our gospel must be the same as before. We must be aware of who is for our interests,” the CS said.
A cross section of MCAs interviewed by Mt. Kenya Star supported Kiunjuri’s sentiments, saying the debate on support for Ruto should now be rested as the majority of the region’s voters have settled for his potential presidency.
Raphael Chege Waithumbi, the MCA for Kamenu Ward in Kiambu County said DP Ruto is still the favourite in Mt. Kenya and is assured of the region’s support. “His support in Mt Kenya is automatic and he’ll get the region’s votes in his basket,” Chege said.
The MCA said he estimates that the DP currently enjoys 80 percent of Kiambu County’s support noting that residents in the region have vowed not to abandon him in his time of need as he supported Uhuru in the 2013 and 2017 general elections.
“You can’t clear hurdles on my way for me and I fail to do the same for you. We understand how to repay good deeds with good deeds and we’ll do it during the next polls,” he said.
Chege said that the region has already made a resolve that they will support Ruto in his pursuit to ascend to the house on the hill.
“The Kieleweke team will be in for a rude shock because their efforts to change tunes in the region’s support are pointless,” he said in reference to a group of politicians campaigning against Ruto support in Mt. Kenya.
The leader of the majority in Murang’a County Assembly Eric Kamande said from the discussions taking place in the region, the common mwananchi has Ruto’s interests at heart.
“You’ll find them in shopping centres talking about Ruto and saying the region should reciprocate the support he accorded President Uhuru Kenyatta.
The politics of the day also seem to be drawing people closer to the Deputy President,” Kamande said.
“Majority of leaders in the region also support Ruto albeit quietly because they think he is development oriented,” he added.
He was, however, cautious saying that the looming referendum may bring new issues and rearrange politics and it is too early to make a political stand concerning 2022 General Elections.
Nakuru’s Kabazi Ward MCA Dr Peter Mbae said Kiunjuri’s sentiments were part of his positioning over the high possibility that Ruto will be the next president and therefore harvest from aligning with the DP. “Dr Ruto is the next big thing in the country’s political circles and every other ambitious politician should strategically position himself alongside the DP’s camp,” said Dr. Mbae.
In Embu, Kyeni North MCA Patrick Mukavi said Mt. Kenya people appreciate how Ruto stood with Kenyatta, during the trials at the International Criminal Court (ICC) and bare-knuckle political attacks by his handshake partner Raila Odinga and will mobilise support for the DP.
“With Kiunjuri being among Uhuru’s main confidants in Mt. Kenya, I have a very reason to believe his words reflect Uhuru’s mind. My opinion is that Kiunjuri has cleared the air that UhuRuto started the journey together years back and the duo has to continue that way,” he said.
In Nyandarua, Njabini Kiburu MCA, Kiiru Gachomba said dumping DP Ruto would be tantamount to throwing someone a close friend under the bus.
“The Central people, more so the Kikuyus must be very careful. If we must cross bridges, it must be the way we went into and won elections. Anything else is luxury,” he said.
He asked why Ruto was not corrupt when he supported Raila Odinga in 2007 or when he helped Uhuru win elections twice.
“Did he become corrupt when it became apparent he is going for the trophy in 2022?”
In Kirinyaga, Kanga MCA John Gitari Kiunjuri’s remarks reflect the decisions of the majority of the people in the region.
“We don’t know Raila in this region. Ruto is on the ground initiating projects and commission those that are complete, what else we want?” he said.
In Laikipia, Speaker Patrick Waigwa called on the region to fully support DP Ruto. “We need to strategise and put our selfish interests aside and decide to rally behind one candidate and lobby from there,” said Waigwa.
“The only thing that can help us in future is having a strong bargaining platform. Regardless of who will be the candidate, we must put our votes in one bucket to push our agenda in the government,” said Waigwa.