Mt Kenya MPs burn midnight oil in talks over block’s future
By Allan Mungai and Roselyne Obala
| November 24th 2018
A night meeting by legislators from Central could herald a defining moment for the region’s politicians who face the possibility of going to the 2022 General Election without a clear favourite while navigating the dangerous waters of a presidential gag order.
On Monday night, the 44 MPs met at a Nairobi hotel to chart a political path as a follow-up to a previous meeting held in Naivasha that resulted in a public dressing down by the president.
The Mt Kenya Parliamentary Group members who turned up at La Mada Hotel on Thika Road alongside Cabinet Secretaries (CS) Cecily Kariuki (Health), Joe Mucheru (ICT), Margaret Kobia (Public Service) and Peter Munya (Trade) brainstormed on how best to navigate the political terrain and benefit from the government ‘goodies.’
Interestingly, most senators save for Senator John Kinyua (Laikipia) and Isaac Mwaura (nominated) were absent.
Though they have remained tight-lipped on details of the deliberations after they swore to secrecy, insiders have leaked some details of the meeting chaired by nominated MP Cecil Mbarire.
The Saturday Standard is privy to information circulated to members through the WhatsApp group by Ms Mbarire, however some issues were not captured in the minutes.
Avenues to improve lives
An MP from Nyeri County who was in attendance confirmed the talks were mainly on development.
“It was purely a meeting on development. We were over 40 plus the CSs. We were taking stock on implementation of projects in the region, avenues to improve the lives of our people and working closely with the government,” said the MP.
Muranga Senator Irungu Kang’ata said that he was aware of the meeting but it had been presented like a meeting of members of the National Assembly.
“I did not attend because I thought it was a meeting of members of the National Assembly, otherwise I would have been present,” he said.
According to the communication which focused on development, the MPs who did not want to be named, said they discussed their role on the political landscape.
“We discussed development but after the CSs left politics was put on the table. We are not ready to play second fiddle. There are some issue we discussed off the cuff and with time, we will make our stand known,” said another MP.
By agreeing to a meeting with the region’s politicians, it looks like the executive has played right into the hands of the political class who, in their Naivasha meeting, complained of being left out of the president’s development agenda.
“I want to thank all the members who attended a very successful meeting till 11pm.
“Kindly may I request the committee chairs to engage a higher gear and have their reports revised and proposed by members. Final documents must be with us by Monday next week,” reads the communication. Sources also revealed that a committee has also been formed to monitor the upcoming census, to ensure it is conducted in a fair manner.
“All constituency members must urgently give a comprehensive report on staffing status in their schools, the shortfall of teachers if any in secondary and primary Schools. This report is readily available with the Sub County Education bosses,” reads the communication. “This should include the level of completion, equipping and staffing. The report should be well typed and handed to Hon Peter Mwathi (Limuru) by Thursday 1pm,” reads the WhatsApp communication sent to all members.
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