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Mt Kenya leaders seek forum to chart their political destiny

By Lydiah Nyawira | July 3rd 2019
A section of youth who disrupted a weekend meeting attended by Agriculture Cabinet Secreatry Mwangi Kiunjuri at Gatitu village in Nyeri. [Kibata Kihu, Standard]

Leaders in Mt Kenya are pushing for a convention to chart the political future of the region.

Led by Nyeri Senator Ephraim Maina, the leaders are rooting a conference similar to the one held in Limuru before and after the 2013 election where issues touching on the region were discussed.

Speaking during a leaders' forum at PCEA Nyamachaki Hall in Nyeri, Mr Maina said leaders from the region need to unite and speak in one voice ahead of the 2022 election.

One voice

"We should rally behind President Uhuru Kenyatta and speak in one voice. We need to convene in one forum where we will discuss the issues affecting us. We will benefit more if we are united," Maina said.

The meeting was attended by Nyeri Town MP Ngunjiri Wambugu, several Members of County Assembly and former elected leaders from across the region.

Maina echoed sentiments by Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi that the region stood to lose if it remained fragmented.

The senator said the region had pressing issues such as ailing coffee and tea sectors which should be addressed.

“The coffee and tea sectors are slowly being abandoned by the farmers because, for decades, these two cash crops have not uplifted the lives of people in this region,” he said.

At the same time, the senator said the region’s leaders should support President Kenyatta and keep off early campaigns.

“Those coming to Nyeri should know that the county has elected leaders and we are mature and intelligent enough to make our own decisions. We are in charge as leaders and shall not allow anyone to divide us because of politics.

“In other parts of the country, leaders are working together seeking ways to develop their areas. Therefore we should also work towards unity,” Mr Maina said.

Mr Wambugu called upon the senator, as a senior politician in the region, to call for a meeting to unite leaders in the region.

Two factions

The leaders spoke in the wake of divisions among local leaders who have been pitching for two political factions that have emerged.

Majority of leaders have been associated with a group christened Tangatanga coalescing around Deputy President William Ruto while the other group is nicknamed Kieleweke.

At the weekend, a function presided by Water and Irrigation Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri in Nyeri Town ended prematurely after Wambugu and his supporters stormed the venue as it was about to be concluded.

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