SECTIONS

Raila reaps big in Meru as ex-political rivals Kiraitu, Munya reunite under Azimio la Umoja

ODM Leader Raila Odinga with Meru leaders,including Agriculture CS Peter Munya, Governor Kiraitu Murungi in Meru County on March 10, 2022. [George Kaimenyi]

Political leaders in Meru Thursday put their differences aside to rally behind ODM leader Raila Odinga.

Led by Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi, Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya and Igembe North MP Maoka Maore, the leaders united and trooped to Raila's Azimio la Umoja outfit.

Both Kiraitu and Munya who had fallen out politically pledged to lead the Raila campaign to ensure he wins the region's votes.

"I will work with Munya to campaign and ensure Raila sails through. He will be Kenya's fifth president," Kiraitu said.

Raila officially received Kiraitu's Devolution Empowerment Party and EALA MP Mpuru Aburi's National Ordinary People Empowerment Union (NOPEU) into Azimio la Umoja.

Munya's Party of National Unity (PNU) had already joined and Raila was happy with the entrance of Kiraitu and others.

"Munya is already in Azimio and today we have received the 'Bus' (DEP) into Azimio. We want to move together," he said.

Development

The Meru leaders presented various needs for Raila to implement even as they exuded confidence he will win the presidency.

Maore asked Raila to intervene and have a university campus in Igembe as well as work to have the miraa ban by Somalia lifted.

The legislator said the population in Igembe had expanded and there was the need for a campus gazetted.

"We have a big problem with miraa markets. We want the Somalia market reopened," Maore said.

Munya dismissed Deputy President William Ruto who had claimed he had locked up the Meru region.

"Those who are saying it is not Azimio are deceiving themselves," said the CS.

Munya said it was time to shun divisive politics and asked the people to vote for Raila.

"We want to leave tribal politics behind and have a united nation led by Raila," he said.

But he asked Raila to ensure stalled development projects in Meru are completed.

Munya said they had briefed Raila on the development challenges in Meru for him to act on if he wins the presidency in the August 9 poll.

Among the projects Munya asked Raila to implement if he wins is the Lapsset tarmac which will pass through the vast Nyambene region in northern Meru.

"We are far behind in terms of development even though President Uhuru Kenyatta has worked well. We want you to complete the delayed projects," Munya said.

Raila said Azimio was fashioned to bring economic liberation to the country by empowering people through education, health, business and other interventions.

The ODM chief who appealed to the police not to harass law-abiding boda boda operators said the youth will be assisted to get employment opportunities.

Referring to an incident where some operators were recorded harassing a female motorist in Nairobi, Raila said only those culpable should be held responsible.

"The boda boda operators play a key role. All of them should not be made to suffer because of a mistake by some. They should not be condemned collectively," he said.

He said his government would establish a special fund to assist single mothers, widowed and divorced and those who were disadvantaged economically.

"I will give them money for businesses to improve their lives," he stated.

Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu appealed to voters in Meru to rally behind Raila, saying the three counties in Ukambani were fully behind him.