Nine political bigwigs from Central Kenya region staged a “political lunch" meeting to offer support to new Leader of Majority in the National Assembly Amos Kimunya and President Uhuru Kenyatta's political agenda.
Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi, Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya, governors Kiraitu Murungi (Meru), Muthomi Njuki (Tharaka Nithi), Lee Kinyanjui (Nakuru) and Ndiritu Muriithi (Laikipia) attended the three-hour lunch.
Others who attended the lunch meeting were Kirinyaga Senator Charles Kibiru and former presidential candidate Peter Kenneth.
The details of their deliberations were scanty, with Kiraitu who addressed the media terming it as a private lunch to congratulate Kimunya on his elevation as the Jubilee’s Majority Leader in the House. Political deliberations could not be ruled out, however, given the status of the attendees and their interests for the larger Central Kenya region.
Indeed, Kiraitu admitted that the “lunch” was political by virtue of those who were in attendance.
“Of course even a football match if it is played by political colleagues, then it is political, our lunch was equally political, for as you can see all those present were politicians,” said Kiraitu, as the politicians remained tight-lipped on any political plot or alignment.
Kiraitu and Munya shared a table amidst their political differences in Meru where their supporters have lately been clashing, with the governor’s camp accusing the CS of undermining his leadership of the county, as he positions himself to recapture the seat he lost in the last elections.
After the meeting, Munya did not attend the press briefing which was conducted by Kiraitu as he hastily walked to his vehicle and left.
“If you look, all of us are either current or former MPs, we purposed to come here for our own private matters, for lunch. We did not call the media. We requested our friend the Speaker to join us as we congratulate Kimunya for his elevation,” Kiraitu said.
He hailed Kimunya’s credentials and experience on the new House role, saying the same will come in handy with critical business expected in Parliament ahead of the 2022 elections.
“Of course we all know that the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) process will be coming to the House and the 2022 polls are still ahead of us; it is critical to have people like him leading the house at such a moment,” said the Meru governor.
The Laikipia governor told The Standard that the region did not need a lunch meeting to discuss the obvious.
"A tiger does not proclaim its tigritude before it strikes and you know that. Mt Kenya will do what it has to do, when it has to, and with whom it has to," he cryptically responded.
The meeting by the leaders comes at a time when the region remains politically divided with a section of its legislators allied to Deputy President William Ruto, under the Tanga Tanga wing of Jubilee, while another group is firmly behind the handshake between Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga, under the Kieleweke axis.
Though celebrating Kimunya’s elevation, the region has also witnessed some of its leaders – those allied to Ruto – de-whipped from their powerful positions, in a purge orchestrated by Uhuru.
Some of those from the region who have lost their plum positions are Tharaka Nithi Senator Kithure Kindiki, who was ousted from the position of Deputy Speaker of the Senate and her Nakuru counterpart Susan Kihika removed as the Senate Majority Leader, with the position however being given back to the region through the elevation of Murang’a Senator Irungu Kangata.
Others are Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichungwa, de-whipped as the Budget and Appropriation’s Committee chair, Moses Kuria (Gatundu South), removed as the vice chair of the Transport Committee and Kandara MP Alice Wahome, who was purged as the vice chair of the Justice and Legal Affairs committee in the National Assembly.