Mt Kenya leaders meet as Uhuru succession gathers steam

Political leaders from Mt Kenya were last evening holed up in a meeting in Thika as President Uhuru Kenyatta succession talks in the region gather steam.

Although the gathering of elected leaders at the exclusive Thika Greens resort was described as a development forum, the Uhuru succession talks have been shaping up as the clock ticks towards 2022.

The agenda of the meeting that went late into the night, was not clear but sources indicated that it was aimed at uniting the region whose leaders have been pulling in different directions.

Yesterday's meeting was held in the residence of Kirinyaga Senator Charles Kibiru who is among the investors in the prestigious golf course.

A declaration by Uhuru last week that he was preparing to exit the stage after his two terms end, has heightened political activities in the region.

The meeting was attended by leaders from across the factional divide that has dominated the Jubilee Party, with staunch supporters of Deputy President William Ruto also invited for the get-together.

Ruto allies who have not been seeing eye to eye with politicians allied to the President, have previously been in the dark on such gatherings.

The meeting was reportedly attended by Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho. Conspicuously missing from the list of attendees were outspoken Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua and his Kikuyu counterpart Kimani Ichungwa.

Last evening, Mr Rigathi who questioned the sincerity of the agenda, said he had not been invited. “Im not aware of such a meeting. If they are talking about development of the region why should I be excluded? This puts the agenda of the meeting into question,” Rigathi said.

Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro was also in the dark over the Thika Greens meeting and questioned its agenda. "Maybe those invited could be members of a merry-go-round since I have not heard of any meeting of Mt Kenya leaders," he said.

Invitations were sent through text messages. Invitees were required to be at the venue by 4pm. Some attendees received their invite from Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria, who is one of the key Ruto allies in the populous region.

Most leaders at the meeting remained tight-lipped on the agenda. But even before the meeting started, there was grumbling among some leaders who warned against introducing politics into the meeting.

“I’m attending this meeting because I was told it is about development of the region, if the conveners try to introduce any political agenda I will just walk out. I have made this clear,” said one MP, who declined to be named.

Another MP also said he had agreed to attend the meeting after he was assured it was not a political forum.

“I was categorical that this meeting should not be turned into a political forum where certain declarations will be made. There are some meetings where your signature will be used to prove you are party to some resolutions,” said the MP allied to DP Ruto.