Kiraitu, Waiguru and Kimemia shine, as Mt Kenya seeks for equitable sharing of national cake

Governors Francis Kimemia (left) Kiraitu Murungi (second right) and Anne Waiguru (right) welcome ODM leader Raila Odinga (second left) to the BBI meeting in Meru.

Governors Kiraitu Murungi (Meru), Anne Waiguru (Kirinyaga) and Francis Kimemia (Laikipia) stood out as the persons to watch out in the Mt Kenya region during the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) mega rally in Meru on Saturday. The trio led the region leaders in agitating for the equitable allocation of revenues based on the principle of ‘one person, one vote, one shilling’. During the highly publicised meeting at Kinoru stadium where ODM leader Raila Odinga was the chief guest, the trio said they fully support the BBI and the fight against corruption in Kenya.

Whereas Kimemia read a memorandum of the proposals collected at different levels in the region, Kiraitu who steered the rally for the better part tasked Waiguru to introduce the other governors from the region. Kimemia who is the chairman of the Mt Kenya governors’ caucus afterward presented the region’s 10-point demand to the BBI task force chairman Yusuf Haji and to Odinga.

Governors from all the Mt Kenya counties including Meru, Kirinyaga, Nyeri, Tharaka-Nithi, Embu, Kiambu, Nyandarua, Laikipia, Murang’a and Nakuru were in attendance. Scores of other governors from other parts of the country also attended as well as tens of MPs. Raila’s allies including Wiper Democratic Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka, ANC Party leader Musalia Mudavadi and Senator Moses Wetangula also attended and pledged their allegiance to the BBI and the unity of the country.

Political leaders allied to the Deputy President William Ruto including Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen, Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria, Manyatta MP John Muchiri and Chuka/Igambang’ombe MP Patrick Munene among others were also in attendance. Odinga’s address was affected by a sore throat but he pointed out that he had addressed youths the previous evening and they had concurred that “nobody can stop reggae”.

In the resolutions read by Kimemia, Mt Kenya leaders said the region produces 30 per cent of the national revenue. They proposed that the revenue allocation to counties be set at 35 to 50 percent to prevent their region from being marginalised.

“We would like for the productive counties to be rewarded so that we are motivated to do more. “We also seek for a guaranteed minimum prices of tea, coffee, milk, green grams, khat and rice among other products produced in the region,” said Kimemia.

They also called for the introduction of the proportional presentation system in the hope that it will help them gain political power in proportion to their numbers. Further, they called for the inclusion of the two-third gender rule in all sectors including the executive consisting of the President, Deputy President and Prime Minister.

“We also propose for five percent allocation of public appointments to persons with disabilities,” said Kimemia. The highly charged Meru rally was foreshadowed by series of BBI validation conferences in different parts of Mt Kenya.

The validation meeting for Mt Kenya East was led by Governors Kiraitu, Martin Wambora (Embu) and Muthomi Njuki (Tharaka-Nithi) at Kirubia Stadium in Tharaka-Nithi on Wednesday. Leaders warned locals against being misled to follow other leaders and instead support President Uhuru Kenyatta because he is the undisputed leader of the region.

Waiguru led the Kirinyaga’s conference at Sagana on Thursday while a similar meeting was held in Murang’a and other parts of the region. Their clarion call was for one man, one vote, one shilling a principle for equitable sharing of resources they believe will benefit the populous region.

The leaders met at Kenya Methodist University(KEMU), where delegates from all the 11 Mt Kenya counties harmonized the resolutions which Kimemia presented in the Saturday rally to be included in the final document.

“Our irreducible minimums revolve around maximizing citizens’ benefits and putting money into the pockets of our people who remain the largest taxpayers in this country,” Kimemia the Friday’s consultative meeting. Leading other governors for the Central Region Economic Bloc meeting, Kimemia reaffirmed the Bloc’s proposal to distribute national resources based on population and a region’s contribution to the national GDP: “It is One Man, One Vote, One Shilling.”

“Today, our region contributes over 30 per cent of the national GDP and taxes. We are the most productive region and our people remain the strongest pillars of the national economy; yet, existing laws on revenue allocation continue to disadvantage them and by extension creating underdevelopment. This must change with these reforms,” he said.

Kimemia also called for the categorization of potatoes as a National Strategic Food reserve item including state support in research, inputs, storage and purchase. At the same time, leaders called for the addressing of historical marginalization and injustices including the colonial villages and landless Mau Mau, and victims of election violence living as integrated IDPs.

 During the BBI validation meeting in Sagana, Governor Waiguru claimed the marriage between President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto has hit a dead end. Speaking in Kikuyu parables she said the two partners were deeply in love initially and even had children but their marriage was no longer bearable.

 “When they fell in love and formed the Jubilee everything was rosy until the latter started misbehaving and allowed ‘her children’ to become disrespectful to their ‘father’. This forced the Head of State to look for another suitor,” she said. S

ome of the issues raised at the meeting the residents want factored in the BBI include availing of free cancer drugs just like is the case with HIV AIDS and addressing the challenges they face in farming.

MPs and MCAs boycotted the meeting saying they were neither consulted nor invited, but Waiguru clarified that the meeting was for the stakeholders in various sectors, ordinary wananchi and not for the elected leaders.