Expectations high ahead of Gachagua's meeting with Meru leaders

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua during a meeting at Harambee House - Annex on January 30, 2023. [DPCS, Standard]

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua is expected to meet Meru leaders today in his Nairobi office.

The agenda of the meeting is to unlock a long-standing feud pitting Meru Governor Kawira Mwangaza and Members of the County Assembly.

This will see the governor and MCAs come face to face for the first time since the impeachment.

The DP was tasked by President William Ruto to end the feud that saw 69 MCAs out of 70 pass a motion to impeach Governor Kawira, claiming she irregularly made appointments and vilified leaders among other accusations. Kawira survived the impeachment motion, after Senators declared that the charges against her cannot be proved.

Gachagua has held meetings with the governor, MCAs and MPs in the past to end the stalemate between the Executive and the assembly.

Kawira is expected to lead a three-member delegation while Speaker Ayub Bundi will lead three MCAs to the meeting to deliberate on the contentious issues and settle them.

Mr Bundi will be accompanied by Deputy Speaker Ali Mwenda, representing the Igembe region, Majority Whip Jim Muchui representing Tigania and the sponsor of the impeachment motion Dennis ‘DMK’ Kiogora, representing the Imenti area.

The Speaker said the MCAs have no personal differences with the governor, but they there was a misunderstanding.

“From the word go the MCAs did not have any issues with the Governor. What just happened was a misunderstanding; that the Governor wanted to be the initiator, and the only person who can talk about development,” Bundi said.

He said the main issues of contention was the ward fund.

“This was a precedent set in 2013. At that time I was the Majority Leader. Then Governor (Peter Munya) gave us a ward fund of Sh25 million and at that time the county government was receiving Sh6.2 billion. When (immediate former Governor) Kiraitu came in he started giving Sh20 million, though it had its issues,” Bundi said, adding that they expected Kawira to go on the tradition.

“All members wanted was to know how much would the governor be able to give to the ward fund,” he said. Bundi clarified that MCAs would not be involved in the procurement of the ward projects.

“All that the area MCA does is just sit in the community and assist in the identification of the project, by virtue that this person sits with the people, he or she knows the problem of the community,” he said.

On Monday, Majority Leader Muchai said among the issues that need to be resolved was the ward equalization fund.

“For us, it is a matter of listing our issues on paper, we want a ward equalization fund,” he said.

Kiagu MCA Simon Ngaruni, who opposed the impeachment motion, said he expects the issues to be resolved, so that they can move forward.

“I expect all issues to be resolved, we are not ready to go on fighting because it compromises development. But I also expect to be reinstated in the house committees. If it is reconciliation, I should be restored,” Ngaruni, said.

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