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President Uhuru succeeds in silencing tanga tanga movement

COUNTIES
By Mt Kenya Star | March 11th 2019
President Uhuru Kenyatta.

President Uhuru Kenyatta has succeeded, for now, in silencing the remaining key vocal supporters of Tanga Tanga Movement, in a move seen as entrenching his cold war against his deputy William Ruto, meant to prevent him from becoming the next president.

Youthful Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro is the latest to be silenced. The president not only scolded him in front of his constituents but also, for a second time, walked out while he was addressing mourners, sending a clear message of the seriousness of the matter.

Nyoro is among the last of the vocal Ruto supporters to have defied the president’s warning to largely Mt. Kenya MPs who have become excited with Ruto’s prospects. However, Gatundu MP Moses Kuria has defied Uhuru and appears to have escalated his opposition to his leadership.

 

Warnings not to support Ruto from Uhuru came as a surprise to MP Kenya MPs who have all along assumed that Uhuru will keep his promise to support his International Criminal Court-accused colleague for the presidency in 2022.

The change of tune also caught Mt. Kenya constituents unawares with most still trying to digest the matter, a move that raises uncertainty over the smoothness of Uhuru’s transition.

Uhuru words in Nyoro were heavy, warning the serial entrepreneur of the consequences of his continued campaigns being the loss of his parliamentary seat. “After three years [ your people] will replace you all with others who will work for them,” Uhuru said.

Nyoro declined to discuss the matter with Mt. Kenya Star, insisting that he will call us back to respond but did not do so by the time of going to press.

Those close to him, however, said the rebuke by the president has shaken him down and in his last function, before he flew out to South Africa last week, he declined to discuss politics or respond to the president.

The walkout during a funeral in Murang’a however betrayed Uhuru’s emotional handling of the matter between him and his deputy, which the two have chosen to play safe, but observers say it is a matter of time before it explodes.

At the centre of the simmering fallout is ODM Leader Raila Odinga who is riding in last year’s handshake to even influence cabinet and senior appointments and has maintained a relentless war against Ruto, giving the impression that his attacks have a moral backing of Uhuru.

Murang’a, Kiambu hotbeds

Murang’a and Kiambu counties have been the hotbeds of Tanga Tanga Movement, with Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichungwa leading the pro-Ruto movement in the county before he was too silenced.

But significantly, Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu is regarded as the kingpin of Tanga Tanga Movement in the area, going as far as publicly warning Uhuru to be “careful” about the intentions of Raila.

During the same funeral where Uhuru walked out of the MP, Waititu also requested the president to “go slow” on the war on corruption because of “our people in the Rift Valley.”

His reference was the perception that the war on the corruption is targeting the Kalenjins, and that it is being used to fight Ruto despite the agreement of reciprocal support, a matter that may flay ethnic tensions ahead of 2022, in an area that has witnessed frequent fatal election-related violence.

The threat has not been helped by comments made by Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi, themed on threatening Kikuyus living in the Rift Valley should they decline to vote for Ruto in 2022.

Uhuru’s headache, tricks

That Kiambu and Murang’ politicians have been leading pro-Ruto early campaigns in Central Kenya has been a major headache for Uhuru because of potential to grow into a strong movement generating a pro-Ruto wave that he may be unable to stop.

Credible information has revealed that Uhuru is so determined to stop the pro-Ruto campaigns and influence in Central Kenya that he has deployed nominated MP Maina Kamanda to be the dark knight who delivers warnings to those who fail to toe the like.

Kamanda, a self-declared anti-Ruto campaigner has been traversing Murang’a and Kiambu counties and his efforts have succeeded in silencing off politicians like MP Ichungwa, Murang’a Senator Irungu Kanga’ata, and Murang’a Women Rep Sabina Chege among others.

Kamanda is the man behind the new lobby group known as Mt. Kenya Leadership and Diaspora Forum, formed last month with an agenda to clip Ruto’s influence in the region but positioning itself as a vehicle to help Uhuru achieve his Big4 Agenda.

Another of the forum’s agenda is to “enforce” presidential directives in a move aimed at countering recent open defying of such orders, most recent being for politicians to stop early campaigns. It is also seen as part of Uhuru entrenching his influence in Mt. Kenya after he retires from the presidency by ensuring that most of the elected leaders have allegiance to him.

The forum is alleged to be profiling elected politicians who are seen as pro-Ruto and grooming their competitors ahead of 2022.

Kamanda, whose home is in Kiriaini, Mathoiya, in Murang’a, has already recruited politicians associated with Murang’a, which has been the hotbed of Tanga Tanga, and branched out to Kiambu, with Peter Kenneth being a member, Martha Karua from Kirinyaga and Mutahi Kagwe from Nyeri.

“Our role to lobby for the interests if Mt. Kenya people in the coming referendum. We want to ensure politicians from this region follow the directives that are given by the president. It is the only way to promote a peaceful coexistence in this county. We want the referendum to be a watershed that creates institutions that will ensure inclusivity,” said Kamanda.

With Nyoro, the anti-Tanga Tanga campaigners likely to consolidate the gains by shaking off any other remaining support for DP Ruto in Mt. Kenya though it will be interesting to see how pro-Ruto supporters in the region react.

 

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