Usawa kwa Wote Party Leader and Murang’a Governor Mwangi wa Iria when launching a massive voter registration campaign in the Mt. Kenya region when he scourged a group of leaders who form a coalition on August 18, 2021. [Boniface Gikandi, Standard]
Political temperatures are rising in Mt. Kenya and parties are running for mergers in anticipation of next year’s general election.
With the almost unanimous recognition that the region is no longer fighting for the presidency, political camps are still largely divided between the support of Vice President William Ruto and ODM chief Raila Odinga.
A look in the back yard reveals that several strategic political meetings have taken place but little or no effort is being made to push the masses in any particular direction.
Laikipia Governor Ndiritu Muriithi said the political direction of the region, with its eight million votes and a large proportion of the country’s economy, was vital.
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Muriithi was among the leaders of central Kenya on Tuesday, along with Kirinyaga’s Anne Waiguru and Nakurus Lee Kinyanjui, who joined Raila on a public visit to the city of Nakuru.
On the same day, former Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri, MP from Gatundu South, Moses Kuria, and Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua met with leaders of smaller parties in Mt. Kenya in Thika, where they engaged in structured regional negotiations with the leading presidential candidate passed.
Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria, Narc Kenya Chair Martha Karua, and Service Party Of Kenya Chair Mwangi Kiujuri forge a unit of Mount Kenya at a press conference ahead of the 2022 general election. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]
Another meeting of small parties such as Safina, Party of National Unity (PNU) and Democratic Party (DP) took place at one end of Nairobi on Wednesday, while remaining President Uhuru Kenyatta supported Jubilee MPs from the region, including Ngunjiri. from the city of Nyeri Wambugu, Murang’a MPs Sabina Chege and Wangari Mwaniki from Kigumo were in a separate meeting in which they called for a change in the party leadership.
But the governor of Murang’a, Mwangi wa Iria, scoffed at the political groups, which they called no unity because they did not represent the interests of the eight million voters around the mountain.
Iria hit some of the political parties as briefcase outfits with no ground support. “I understand the needs of the community after serving two terms as governor. My approach will be unique in that I will visit the people in their villages and donate heifers as an empowerment vehicle, ”he said.
Iria, who has announced his intention to run for president through the Usawa Kwa Wote Party, accused some leaders of negotiating early before asking the people in her backyard to register as voters.
“I encourage people in the mountains to register as voters and belong to a political party. The idea created by a group of leaders that after President Uhuru Kenyatta a Kikuyu should not rule the country was developed to blackmail the community, ”said Iria.
Mount Kenya Youth Caucus chairman Linford Mutembei said it is necessary for Mount Kenya leaders to hold a meeting and find a candidate who will then negotiate with Raila or Ruto.
He said the leaders should have a common strategy by identifying their problems and making sure the new president completes the development projects started by President Kenyatta.
“All leaders are equal, so they need to put personal ambition aside and focus their energies on rallying our people behind the ODM leader,” Mutembei said.
But Murang’a Senator Irungu Kang’ata, who is allied with DP Ruto, said he is not against local leaders coming together for a worthy cause.
Branded vehicle with Usawa Kwa Wote Patry colors on the General Ihura grounds in Murang’a. Murang’a Governor Mwangi wa Iria said he would be involved in election campaigns and party recruitment on August 18, 2021. [Boniface Gikandi, Standard]
These “many” plans in the region, Kang’ata added, would not change fundamental principles.
However, Ruto’s camp is said to have panicked over the open rebellion of Kiunjuri and Kuria, especially the latter, who is considered a strong activist and directly responsible for the multiple by-election victories in the central region of Hustler Nation in the Gaturi, Rurii and London districts, as well as the Juja constituencies and Kiambaa.
“At the Thika meeting, we created a framework to ensure that issues in the region are properly recorded so that everyone who comes for our partnership (coalition) knows our true position,” Kuria said.
“If they hold more than 100 meetings, the narrative about the vice president will not change. The support from Hustler’s Nation will not wane, it will get stronger day by day, ”said Kang’ata.
Charles Njoroge, a political commentator, said everyone will ignore Iria’s Usawa Kwa Wote party at their own risk. “The governor goes to places without being pushed by brokers. He will surprise many towards the end of this campaign with the support he will receive from the people of Mount Kenya, ”he added.
Democratic Party leader Esau Kioni said they had set up a technical working group with Safina and the PNU that would set the rules for engagement.
“At the moment we are still a long way from discussing the likely lineups, but in the long term we will bundle our support in one basket,” said Kioni after the Thika meeting.