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Mt Kenya East governors back Muturi bid for unity

By Brian Otieno | June 9th 2021

Embu Governor Martin Wambora, Kiraitu Murungi (Meru), National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi, Tharaka Nithi Governor Muthomi Njuki and former Embu Senator Lenny Kivuti after a leaders summit in Nairobi.[Standard]

Three Mt Kenya governors have backed National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi’s coronation as the region’s spokesperson, amid protest from a section of local leaders.

Governors Kiraitu Murungi (Meru), Muthomi Njuki (Tharaka Nithi) and Martin Wambora (Embu), who all hail from Mt Kenya East, yesterday urged Mr Muturi to embark on an urgent campaign to unite the vote-rich region.

They told the Speaker to embrace dialogue in bringing together all Mt Kenya residents, even those who oppose his bid to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta as the region’s kingpin. They said this would be critical in engaging leaders from other regions to foster national unity.

“Going forward, we cannot approach the national politics as a divided house. It is now the time to put our house in order and we have faith in Speaker JB Muturi, to drive the agenda of our region to beyond 2022 with the confidence he has been bestowed,” read a joint statement issued by the governors in part.

This follows desperate jostling to plug the apparent void that the president’s exit from power would create next year. The wrangles are an apparent interest to catch Deputy President William Ruto’s eye as he fishes for a probable running mate in next year’s General Election.

Muturi, who met the three governors, former Embu Senator Lenny Kivuti among other leaders, was coronated last month to represent the region, months after a previous endorsement to speak on behalf of Mt Kenya East.

Others keen to be the region’s top politician are Murang’a Governor Mwangi wa Iria, former Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri and former Kiambu Governor William Kabogo.

Wa Iria is among those opposed to Muturi's coronation as the Mt Kenya spokesperson. There have been calls for unity among the leaders to increase Mt Kenya’s bargaining power.

Last week, Kiunjuri said he, too, would be seeking endorsement as the region’s spokesperson, further calling out a section of leaders for ‘bullying’ others.

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