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Igembe South MP Paul Mwirigi: Why I threatened to return President Uhuru's grey Prado

Igembe South MP Paul Mwirigi. [File, Standard]

Igembe South MP Paul Mwirigi has disclosed why he threatened to take back a present he had been given by the outgoing president, Uhuru Kenyatta, after some politicians started making a big issue out of it.

In a Facebook post in April, Mwirigi threatened to return the Prado gifted to him by President Uhuru Kenyatta after the 2017 elections, when he became the youngest elected MP.

Nonetheless, Mwirigi says he does not regret making those remarks.

In an exclusive interview with The Standard, Mwirigi says he made the remarks in response to some of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s political allies in the region.

“I had no issues with Uhuru and I have never had any issues with him. Early this year, some of his [Uhuru] allies started pushing me. They threatened to take the vehicle if I did not follow Uhuru and his party,” Mwirigi told The Standard.

“I told one of them to come for the car in exchange for money. Uhuru is a good man and after gifting me, he would not take back the gift. One of the Cabinet Secretaries from Meru kept repeating that I was given a vehicle and that I am ungrateful. He would do this anytime he visited my constituency,” he added.

His remarks elicited a social media outburst at the time, with Kenyans expressing mixed feelings at the time. As a result, Mwirigi went silent and focused on his grassroots campaigns.

“I went missing [in action] after people started criticising me. Instead, I focused on my campaigns on the ground so to guard my votes in Igembe South,” he says.

However, Mwirigi maintains that his relationship with Uhuru has never changed. He added that he had plans of meeting and gifting the exiting president, once the handover process is over.

“I have never spoken ill of Uhuru in any public forum. How would he attack me? He has never spoken about this vehicle anywhere. I must make a date with him and gift him and gift him as well. Just to show my appreciation for what he did to me in 2017. It was weighty because no one, not even in my own constituency thought of doing what he did,” Mwirigi explains.

“I still have the car. I can never sell it. I plan to keep it to show my grandkids what the then president did to me,”

According to the second time MP, he decided to join the William Ruto-led political faction because of its leader’s availability.

“I decided to follow Ruto because he has been in Igembe South for more than ten times in the last five years. He has never turned down any of my invitations or said that I was not part of his party,”

Mwirigi also told The Standard that he would never go against the Uhuru and Ruto citing the role the duo played at the beginning of his political career.