Mt Kenya Leader's 4-Hour Meeting Raises Questions

  • Former Presidential candidate Peter Kenneth (left(, National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi, Laikipia Governor Ndiritu Muriithi and Tharaka Nithi Governor Muthomi Njuki after their meeting at Pan Afric Hotel. July 8, 2020.
    Former Presidential candidate Peter Kenneth (left(, National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi, Laikipia Governor Ndiritu Muriithi and Tharaka Nithi Governor Muthomi Njuki after their meeting at Pan Afric Hotel. July 8, 2020.
    File
  • A 4-hour meeting convened by National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi that was held at the Pan Afric Hotel in Nairobi on July 8, attended by key leaders from the Mt Kenya region raised questions over the region's standing in the race to 2022.

    Despite Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi announcing that the lunch meeting was convened to celebrate the recently appointed National Assembly Majority Leader Amos Kimunya, he inadvertently revealed that politics was also part of the discussions.

    “We are very happy that he (Kimunya) is now leading our troops for Jubilee in the National Assembly especially now we are in an interesting time going forward, with BBI coming and 2022 also ahead and it is good to have elders like him leading the August House,” he stated.

    Those at the meeting convened by Speaker Muturi were Agriculture CS Peter Munya, National Assembly Majority Leader Amos Kimunya, former presidential candidate Peter Kenneth, Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi, Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyajui, Laikipia Governor Ndiritu Muriithi, Tharaka Nithi Governor Muthomi Njuki, and Kirinyaga Senator Charles Kibiru.

    Mt Kenya region leaders pictured at Pan Afric Hotel in Nairobi on July 8, 2020.
    Mt Kenya region leaders pictured at Pan Afric Hotel in Nairobi on July 8, 2020.
    File

    Speaking in his typical cryptic style, Governor Kiraitu remained coy over the details of the private meeting and chose to tease the media by stating that a meeting can be classified as political is if the players are political, "If there is a football match played by politicians then it is political. In the same way, our lunch was political because it was being eaten among politicians," he remarked beneath a shrewd smile.

    The meeting was touted by political pundits as a move to lay foundations for the much-awaited Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) final report.

    All the members present during the meeting close to the Head of State and are key point men in the region to spearhead the BBI agenda.

    Agriculture CS Munya's presence at the meeting despite his former rivalry with Governor Kiraitu during the 2017 gubernatorial race gave a strong indication of the possibility of new alliances in the run-up to the 2022 General Elections.

    On January 16, President Uhuru invited governors from the Mt Kenya region to a special meeting in Mombasa in what was seen as an effort to solidify support base in his backyard.

    At least nine governors from the region met the president at State House, Mombasa, in a meeting that was also attended by Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho and his Kilifi counterpart Amason Kingi.

    The Governors present at that meeting were Anne Waiguru (Kirinyaga), Mwangi wa Iria (Murang’a), Kiraitu Murungi (Meru), Martin Wambora (Embu), Mutahi Kahiga (Nyeri), Nderitu Muriithi (Laikipia), Lee Kinyanjui (Nakuru), Francis Kimemia (Nyandarua).

    In June, reports revealed that President Uhuru was set to tour the Mount Kenya region for the first time after major political developments in ruling Jubilee Party, including what was seen as a purge on Deputy President William Ruto's allies. 

    He is expected to tour Meru County under Governor Kiraitu Murungi. However, a date is yet been scheduled for the much-anticipated visit. 

    On June 11, Interior CS Fred Matiang'i was sent to inspect projects in the region, as well as identify new projects that could revitalise Kenya's economy. 

    President Uhuru Kenyatta arrives at Sagana State Lodge in Nyeri for a meeting on November 15, 2019.
    President Uhuru Kenyatta arrives at Sagana State Lodge in Nyeri for a meeting on November 15, 2019.
    Daily Nation