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Mt Kenya leaders lay out unity plans, plot to lock out DP William Ruto

POLITICS
By Ndungu Gachane | September 16th 2021

Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria, Service Party Of Kenya leader Mwangi Kiunjuri & Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua arrive for a press briefing the three are forging a unity of Mount Kenya ahead of the 2022 general elections.[Wilberforce Okwiri,Standard]

Some Mt Kenya leaders are working for a unity formula that could lock out Deputy President William Ruto from the region.

The leaders have vowed not to fold their political parties to join other outfits ahead of next year’s polls.

The DP’s push to have leaders dissolve their parties and join the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) has rattled a section of politicians.

The leaders are also drafting a list of demands aimed at securing the interests the region would have gained through the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).

During a meeting that brought together a section of regional leaders, including Kenya leader Martha Karua, Mwangi Kiunjuri of the Service Party of Kenya, Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria, former presidential aspirant Peter Kenneth and former Kiambu governor William Kabogo, they agreed not to focus on their political ambitions and affiliations for the sake of the region’s unity ahead of the elections.

“Our political conviction is that the mountain must be united. Any presidential aspirant who comes, has to agree with our demands, we shall put caveats to block any candidate who would suppress us and our region after ascending to presidency,” said Mr Kabogo.

The leaders are demanding 35 per cent revenue allocation commensurate with the population.

“I also have presidential interests. If they decide to back me I would be glad and if they don’t I will agree with them for the sake of the region, we have also stressed on the need to have our parties intact since when we vote in our parties and when they go to Parliament they will never vote with the presidency in accordance with our interests,” Kabogo said.

“We are not blocked from producing a presidential candidate. I have interests and when backed by the region it will be okay and if they don’t we shall all come to a consensus to vote along the same pattern.”

Mathioya MP Peter Kimari said the unity of the mountain will guide the youth on the presidential candidate who means well for the region. 

“We need to support a presidential candidate who will ensure that the region gets what it would have gotten from the Constitutional Amendment Bill, 2020,” Mr Kimari noted.

He, however, ruled out the region supporting Ruto owing to that fact that he opposed the BBI and accused him of scheming to weaken Mt Kenya.

“We shall negotiate on our fair share of stake in the next government, but Ruto does not want our unity since our unity is his biggest threat,” said Kimari.

Also present at the Monday meeting at the Serena Hotel in Nairobi were Murang’a Woman Representative Sabina Chege, Gatanga MP Nduati Ngugi and former MP Ndungu Gethenji.

The leader plan to hold another meeting within the next seven days.

The group agreed to invite all Mt Kenya leaders to chart the post-Uhuru dispensation. “These are the players who see the regional interests as universal and applicable no matter who will be the president. The concern is not the positions but what the region gets as a people,” said Kimari.

Others leaders being targeted for inclusion in the preparatory talks include heads of smaller parties like Murang’a Governor Mwangi wa Iria (Usawa Kwa Wote), Peter Munya (PNU) as well as Jimmy Wanjigi of Orange Democratic Movement and the National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi who have declared interest for the presidency.

“We will invite all the sitting MPs and governors from Mt Kenya region next week for a unity of purpose, it’s no longer about the political parties but the region’s interests, no one will be told to fold his political party,” said Karua.

They ruled out inviting Ruto diehards in the region, including MPs Kimani Ichungwa, Rigathi Gachagua and Ndindi Nyoro.

“They have taken extreme positions and it might not be plausible to invite them to our meetings. But we are keeping the doors open to all like minded players from the region,” Kimari said.

Ms Chege said that the meeting had the blessings of President Uhuru Kenyatta. “The President is so concerned about our unity and our meeting had his full blessings.”

Mr Ngugi said the leaders were under instruction to unite the warring parties before the next Sagana State Lodge meeting that could happen before the end of this month.

“He directed us to reach out to all the leaders including those with smaller parties and brief him before he personally meets them. Uhuru does not want to leave us disjointed,” said the MP.

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