Kenya: Speaker Muturi Warms Up to Ruto’s Allies During Meru Visit

Nairobi — National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi appeared on Monday to be warming up to the Kenya Kwanza Alliance days after he announced that he was ready to enter into coalition talks with other like-minded parties.

Muturi who took his presidential campaign tours to Meru County was hosted by Senator Mithika Linturi in what raised speculation that he was headed to Deputy President William Ruto’s camp.

“We all can work, but together we win. Interacting with like-minded people like my good brother and a friend Mithika Linturi,” Muturi tweeted a photo.

In the tour of the region, Muturi engaged with opinion leaders drawn from nine constituencies.

“Opinion leaders play a significant role in opinion formation by highlighting, defining and framing political issues for their respective areas,” he said.

Once considered a close ally of Ruto, Muturi has remained noncommittal on an alliance with either of the leading political formations — Ruto’s Kenya Kwanza comprising UDA, ANC and FORD Kenya, and Raila Odinga Azimio la Umoja consisting ODM and allied parties.

The former Siakago MP has also been evasive on his engagements with One Kenya Alliance (OKA), a coalition made up of Wiper Party Leader Kalonzo Musyoka, Giedion Moi’s KANU and Cyrus Jirongo’s United Democratic Party.

Muturi has also represented Ruto on a number of occasions amid an aggressive onslaught by President Uhuru Kenyatta’s handlers on leaders associated with the DP.

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In August 2021, the House Speaker delivered Ruto’s remarks at the funeral of the Kianjakoma brothers, two teenagers who died in the hands of police after they were reportedly arrested for violating curfew regulations in Embu.

“National Assembly Speaker JB Muturi reads the message of condolence from the Deputy President of the Republic of Kenya, William Ruto to the family, friends and mourners of the slain Kianjokoma Brothers during their sorrowful requiem service,” his press team reported in a tweet.

The Democratic Party Leader on Friday however, announced that he was ready and willing to enter into negotiations talks with like-minded individuals.

“It is through coalitions that we form a stable government, but there must be respect. Respect helps people build better relationships with others. What makes a strong coalition is respect among leaders and honoring the agreement. Democratic Party will not engage with anyone who feels his party is bigger than other parties,” he said.

The House Speaker has in recent months been critical of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration and during his coronation as the Democratic Party presidential flag bearer in February accused the Head of State of practicing politics of desist.

While citing the political pact – the handshake – he made with former Prime Minister Raila Odinga – Muturi noted that the President had betrayed Kenyans indicating that he cannot be trusted again.

“Show me anywhere in the world in a functional democracy where a sitting government decides to join forces with the opposition to form another government with complete disregard to their own?” Mr Muturi posed while addressing delegates at the DP’s National Delegates Conference (NDC) at Bomas of Kenya in Nairobi.

So which way Muturi? Only time will tell.

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