Mount Kenya Foundation (MKF) members on Thursday met with leaders from the Arid and Semi-Arid lands (Asal) as they seek to shape President Uhuru Kenyatta succession.
MKF, which consists of wealthy Central Kenya businessmen, has positioned itself as the gateway to attaining the support of Mt Kenya region.
Jubilee joint secretary and Upya Movement patron Adan Keynan led the Asal team which had representatives from Mandera, Wajir, Marsabit Isiolo and Garissa counties.
MKF has hosted opposition leader Raila Odinga and One Kenya Alliance (OKA) principals to discuss the region’s economic empowerment.
Eldas MP Adan said that the engagement with MKF was geared towards ensuring that counties from Asal regions were included in the next government.
“Those of us who have been around know the history of northern Kenya. We have gone through challenges such as under development and unemployment. These are things that cannot just be cured overnight,” stated Keynan.
“These are things that we must collectively be prepared to improve through our political and economic contributions and engagements so that we can change the history of our people.”
Keynan said communities from Asal have, for a long time, been seen as minorities, but nothing is permanent.
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“Today’s minorities might be tomorrow’s majority... who said the minorities were not increasing? The demographics are changing. And therefore do not be static. We need to expand our horizon of thinking and participate confidently in the national discourse. That is the only way you can proudly say you are a member of this progressive premier Republic called Kenya,” said Keynan.
The leaders who spoke called for unity and peace so that President Kenyatta’s legacy is maintained.
Francis Muthaura said the meeting was important in that it had brought leaders together to discuss national cohesion, unity and peace.
“The meeting is bringing people together, without unity there can never be development. We need to keep peace and ensure that we reach out to other parts of the country,” said Muthaura.
Samburu Woman Rep Maison Leshomo said the handshake between Uhuru and Raila Odinga was key to the unity of the country.
“Had it not been for the coming together of the two men, we would not have peace,” said Leishomo.
Her Wajir counterpart Fatuma Gede said they were in the meeting so as to start a new conversation of unity, peace, security and a new relationship.
Nominated MP Maina Kamanda said the people of Mt Kenya should not be fooled by the UDA wave.
“That is a party that is after its own selfish interests and that is why MKF is engaging candidates with a progressive agenda,” said Kamanda.