First time visitors to Meru town do not understand why posters with the message the “Crocodile is still in the river” are emblazoned on taxis.
The crocodile is a sign of the battle for the governor’s seat in 2022.
Governor Kiraitu Murungi is confident he will retain the seat.
But Woman Rep, Kawira Mwangaza, who has declared interest in the governor’s seat has warned Kiraitu of a bruising battle in 2022.
However, the governor has maintained that he is not a pushover.
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“Tell them I am not going anywhere. The crocodile is still in the water,” Kiraitu said, pointing to the water projects he has initiated since he unseated former Governor Peter Munya in the 2017 election. He warned those attempting to cross the river that it has a crocodile.
“The crocodile is still in the river. Those who are coming to cross or drink the water should know the crocodile is in there!,” he said.
But Mwangaza dismissed Kiraitu saying the crocodile is as good as dead. “He (Kiraitu) said Kawira should be told that the crocodile is still in the river.
“He said it several times. But I say as a child of Meru, that this crocodile in the water is as good as dead,” Mwangaza said.
She said the crocodile must die, for residents to be able to cross the river.
“With the crocodile in the water, how will the children cross to attend school, and how will someone go to the farm on the other side?
“We want to remove the crocodile in the water with our prayers and votes. The crocodile must get out,” she said.
While Mwangaza beat Florence Kajuju in the 2017 elections, Kiraitu is an experienced politician who was first elected South Imenti MP on a Ford ticket, in 1992.
Whether Mwangaza, a political greenhorn, can get the crocodile out of the water, remains to be seen.
“Kiraitu is the master politician, and is credited with some of Kenya’s major political transformations. He served as Justice Minister and headed other ministries.
“But Mwangaza’s popularity among the rural poor is growing especially because of her Okolea programme which assists the vulnerable. If Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Munya also throws his hat in the ring we have a battle royale on the cards,” said Dennis Muthomi.
If Munya decides to vie for governorship, he will give Kiraitu a run for his money because he enjoys massive support in the vote-rich Nyambene region.
Though the Building Bridges Initiative could throw a spanner in the works, the CS has in the past said though he was focusing on his Agriculture docket, he will contest for governorship in 2022.
“I am on a short break. I will be coming back,” Munya said.
One of his backers is East Africa Legislative Assembly MP Mpuru Aburi, who often accompanied Munya during whirlwind tour of Meru, to market the agricultural reform laws.
Aburi, who hails from Tigania East Constituency, said the CS was the best bet for governor.
“Kiraitu is going home and Munya is coming back,” he said.