Mt Kenya MPs onslaught against Uhuru who was once their darling

Former President Uhuru Kenyatta arrives at Jubilee Party headquarters after a rival faction tried to take over, April 26, 2023. [File, Standard]

On June 18, 2017, then-president Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto led a brigade of legislators at Thika Stadium to drum up support for their re-election.

They gathered thousands of supporters and rallied them to elect them for a second term.

In his speech, Uhuru prevailed upon the electorates to vote back the Jubilee government together with parliamentarians who would help in completing most of the development projects they had initiated.

But six years later at the same stadium, the same MPs led their supporters in an onslaught against the retired president over his recent action to stop the takeover of the Jubilee offices in Kileleshwa by the Kanini Kega faction.  

Speaking at Thika Stadium in Kiambu County on Sunday, the leaders ganged up against Uhuru, accusing him of stooping too low despite having occupied a highly coveted Commander in Chief position.

The politicians attended the 25th music anniversary of popular Kikuyu gospel artist Muigai Wa Njoroge.

First on stage was Naivasha MP Jane Kihara. She alleged that Uhuru had sunk his value to the lowest, especially since he went to Jubilee Party headquarters to quell a clash between East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) MP Kanini Kega and former Ndaragwa MP Jeremiah Kioni.

“From today your Excellency do not speak about Uhuru again, leave him to us, because he has lowered his dignity to our level let’s deal with him now. Let him tell us if he gave Ruto the sword why does he tell us that Raila is his leader, what kind of a leader is he?, she paused,” said Mrs Kihara.

Member of Parliament Gabriel Kagombe wondered why Uhuru wanted to remain politically relevant and sought repentance on behalf of his Gatundu South constituents. 

Thika town MP Alice Ng’ang’a who was a close confidant of the duo termed him as a commander of goons after being the commander of defence forces for 10 years. She called on Uhuru to keep off active politics.

The over 15 legislators urged deputy president Rigathi Gachagua, who was present, to stop responding to the former head of state but instead leave the task to them.

 Amongst them were Ndindi Nyoro(Kiharu), Simon King’ara (Ruiru), Wahome Matinga(Nyeri), Faith Gitau (Nyandarua), Cleophas Malala (UDA secretary General) Sabina Chege (nominated) Kiambu Governor Kimani Wamatangi and former Mungiki leader Maina Njenga.

Investment, Trade, and Industry Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria revealed that they had agreed with Gachagua to convene a meeting at his Ichaweri village home in Gatundu South to further their calls on him to stop politicking.

“And we have agreed with deputy president Rigathi Gachagua that next week we shall hold a meeting at Ichaweri where the former president comes from. We want to remind him to keep out of politics and enjoy his retirement,” said Kuria.

Majority leader in the National Assembly Kimani Ichung’wa said that while they respected Uhuru, he had failed to respect himself and as such, it will be hard to continue according to him the esteem he deserves.

“I told Uhuru while we were in Nyeri that since we love him and respect him, let him quit politics and retire honourably, let me remind him again here in Thika, which is the biggest town that if he continues to engage in politics we shall face him head-on,” said Ichungw’a.

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua, who steered clear of attacks on Uhuru, said that demand for more allocation of resources and positions in government for the people of Mt Kenya region will continue despite jitters from a section of leaders.

Gachagua noted that the region had already received over 10 Cabinet secretary positions, 14 permanent secretaries, over 10 CAS, and numerous top-ranking parastatal positions and would continue to ask for more.

Gachagua at the same time noted that plans are at an advanced stage to review the revenue distribution formula to make population the main parameter in the allocation of the national resources, saying parliamentarians had already been instructed to draft a law to that effect.

In the wake of grievances that the Mt Kenya region has been getting a raw deal in terms of resources and representation, parliamentarians from the vote-rich region have been rooting for equitable distribution of revenue through the “one man-one vote-one shilling allocation.

Thika Stadium has been used by politicians when they wanted to send political messages across the Gema community.  In 1995, Thika Stadium was under siege, and Ford-Kenya was holding elections to replace its chairman, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, who had died a year earlier.

The chaos that erupted nearly turned into a blood bath Raila, who had just won a parliamentary seat in Lang’ata after being released from political detention, was then trying his hand at national politics. 

 The protagonists were Jaramogi’s then deputy, First Vice Chairman Wamalwa Kijana, and Raila who were angling to grab the party’s top post.

The stakes were high as whoever was elected chairman would automatically become the party’s presidential candidate in the 1997 presidential election. It was a do-or-die battle for Raila and Wamalwa.

Last week, Uhuru quelled a raging row between Kega and Kioni after a group led by the former Kieni legislator was spotted throwing rocks into the Jubilee Party headquarters after being denied entry.