President Uhuru Kenyatta’s allies from Central will this Saturday hold crucial talks even as DP William Ruto plans to storm the region for a series of rallies.
Ruto’s Sunday tour of Murang’a county is the first since falling out with his boss and being shoved from the heart of government operations.
Curiously, Ruto will be sneaking into the President’s ‘bedroom’ when the head of state is out of the country on a state visit to France.
“Ruto wants to sneak into the bedroom because he knows the boss is not around,” Nyeri Town MP Ngunjiri Wambugu said.
The Star has established that a section of the President’s allies will converge at a hotel in Murang’a on Saturday in what has been couched as a development session.
This would be the second meeting by Central Kenya leaders that gets under way in just a month in what appears to be a deliberate strategy to chart the post-Uhuru political future of the region.
“Mheshimiwa, kindly note that a meeting of political leaders from Central Kenya has been convened this Saturday, October 3, 2020 at Thika Greens Hotel from 10:00am to discuss the progress of various development projects being undertaken across the region,” reads an invite sent out to leaders.
The initial meeting was held on September 18 and brought together nearly 50 lawmakers from the region, with details emerging that they resolved to field a presidential candidate in 2022.
On Thursday, about 35 MPs and senators from Central held a lunch meeting at a Nairobi hotel in what appeared to be a preparatory session ahead of the upcoming consultation meeting.
Among those who attended the meeting were Senate Majority whip Irungu Kang’ata and his National Assembly counterpart Maoka Maore, Kiambu Senator Kimani Wamatangi and Laikipia Woman Rep Catherine Waruguru.
Influential nominated MP Maina Kamanda who attended the session told the Star leaders from the President’s backyard were trying to bridge the Kieleweke-Tangatanga factional politics.
“We will hold more meetings including the one we had today (Thursday) and many more we will hold on Saturday and other days so that the region can speak in one voice,” the former Starehe MP said.
He added: “Our agenda as a region is about development and the BBI and we want to bring together the various teams to support the President to deliver on his agenda.”
Wambugu said the Central Kenya leaders’ meeting was a follow-up session to assess the progress of government projects being done in the region.
“We have decided that we will be meeting at least twice a month and our only business is primarily to push the President’s agenda. We have agreed to keep the fire burning,” he said.
During Thursday’s session, Kang’ata and Maore took the lawmakers through the government’s plans for the region especially to address cash crops and infrastructure needs, among them roads.
The Murang’a senator reportedly told the MPs to be patient and wait for the President’s direction on 2022 succession politics.
The meeting came as Ruto prepared to storm the President’s turf on Sunday for a series of rallies after attending church services.
The DP will be a guest at a church function in his close ally Alice Wahome’s Kandara constituency, Murang’a county.
After the church event, Ruto who is keen to maintain the grip on Mt Kenya in the wake of his fallout with the President will address a series of rallies in the constituency.
Nyoro, an ally of the DP, told the Star on phone that “the popularity of Ruto in Mt Kenya is fast-rising as he captures the aspirations of Gema people.”
“I can say authoritatively that Ruto is more popular than me in my constituency. He has been a loyal servant of the people and the people of Mt Kenya are well aware of the projects the DP through the Jubilee government has initiated in the region,” Nyoro said.
The firebrand legislator said the President “betrayed the aspirations of the people of Mt Kenya”, saying unlike any other regime Uhuru’s administration has left the Agikuyu people impoverished.
“Kibaki left this country when the economy was prospering. Kabika gave Kenyans a conducive environment to do business but Uhuru has overseen a regime that has destroyed the business of his people,” he said.
Uhuru’s right hand man and Jubilee Party vice chairman David Murathe has insisted that Uhuru will back his handshake partner Raila Odinga to succeed him in 2022, pouring cold water on Ruto’s bid.
Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua challenged Murathe, saying if indeed they were positioning Raila to succeed Uhuru, “why have they not taken him to Mt Kenya three years after handshake”?
“I have seen Murathe, who purports to speak for the President, saying their candidate is Raila Odinga. No problem with that but why are they only saying so in Nairobi hotels and residences of some individuals?,” he posed.
He said while the President has been to Kisumu several times courtesy of the handshake, Raila was yet to make any serious visits in Mt Kenya.
“If Murathe and all those in Kileweke are serious let them take Raila for rallies in all the famous stadiums in all the counties in the larger Mt Kenya. The earlier Raila reads the writings on the wall the better,” he added.
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