Murang’a leaders endorse Kenneth to deputise Raila


Former presidential candidate Peter Kenneth and ODM Leader Raila Odinga

 

By: Kimathi Nduru  @MountKenyaTimes

Worth Noting:

  • “It was time Murang’a was rewarded since, in 1963, our own Kariuki wa Njiiri stepped down for Mzee Jomo Kenyatta after he was released from prison,” said Mwaniki.
  • Mwaniki said Kenneth was fit to take the position to lead the residents of the Mt Kenya region.
  • “He has no blemish, no corruption despite serving in various powerful government positions. His Constituency to date remembers him due to proper and prudent management of NGCDF funds,” said Kigumo Mp.
  • The leaders said that Murang’a has been supportive of past governments and that it was high time a leader from the county is picked to represent the region nationally.
Former presidential candidate Peter Kenneth
ODM Leader Raila Odinga

A section of Murang’a leaders have endorsed former Gatanga MP Peter Kenneth to be the running mate of the ODM Party leader Raila Odinga.

Led by MPs Muturi Kigano (Kangema), Wangari Mwaniki (Kigumo), Mary Wamaua (Maragua), Peter Kimari (Mathioya), Nduati Ngugi (Gatanga) and nominated Senator Ngugi IG, the leader said Kenneth stood the best chance to deputise Raila due to his high leadership qualities.

Kenneth who hails from Murang’a, considered to be the cradle of Central’s politics, is said to already enjoy a good working relationship with Raila and is well known in central Kenya.

According to the leaders, Kenneth is a tested and proven leader who has the required experience to work at a national level.

Speaking at Kihoya AIPCA church in Kangema yesterday, the leaders’ recounted his exemplary performance as the Gatanga MP and when he held various government positions.

The leaders revived the Kariuki Njiiri story, the Kigumo MP who in 1951 vacated his seat for Mzee Jomo Kenyatta to join Legico.

This was key to Kenyatta senior ascending to the presidency in 1963. Basing on this, the leaders argued that it is time Murang’a produces a national leader.

“It was time Murang’a was rewarded since, in 1963, our own Kariuki wa Njiiri stepped down for Mzee Jomo Kenyatta after he was released from prison,” said Mwaniki.

Mwaniki said Kenneth was fit to take the position to lead the residents of the Mt Kenya region.

“He has no blemish, no corruption despite serving in various powerful government positions. His Constituency to date remembers him due to proper and prudent management of NGCDF funds,” said Kigumo Mp.

The leaders said that Murang’a has been supportive of past governments and that it was high time a leader from the county is picked to represent the region nationally.

“This region has produced three presidents; Mzee Jomo Kenyatta and president Kenyatta from Kiambu and retired Mwai Kibaki from Nyeri…. so we now feel this is our time to produce a national leader,” MP Ngugi said.

“Murang’a has been supporting other presidential candidates and the time has come that the county produces a leader with political knowledge and understanding to represent Murang’a and the region at the bargaining table,” he said.

Kimari said Kenneth has been in a leadership position for a long time and was fit to represent Murang’a on the national platform.

“The time is ripe for Kenneth to get into a national leadership position with the backing of the Murang’a people,” said Kimari.

Wamaua said Murang’a in 2013 and 2017 was yarning for Kenneth to declare interest to vie for the governorship slot, but he opted for other positions.

“It has come to a time that Murang’a stands to be counted in the history of the country by endorsing their own for a top national position,” said Wamaua.

KENNETH ACKNOWLEDGES THE ENDORSEMENT

Former presidential candidate Peter Kenneth

Kenneth, who vied for Presidency in 2013 and lost to President Uhuru Kenyatta, acknowledged the endorsement, saying he would not let down the Murang’a people.

He said the country needed the right leaders who would work towards promoting peace and national cohesion.

“This country needs committed leaders with the capacity to promote peace. Let us ignore those whose interest is on positions and not to serve the people,” said Kenneth

Kenneth, an ally of President Kenyatta, has been accompanying the ODM leader during visits to Central.

With about 8 million votes, all presidential hopefuls want to dangle the carrot of a running mate to the region.

The 2022 presidential contender’s headache will be a delicate balance to ensure their choice of running mate will not upset the support base or cause a fall-out in their inner circles.

Raila has intensified tours to Mt Kenya and meetings with local opinion shapers, businessmen, youth, elders and the political class. He has visited the region four times.

President Kenyatta, visiting Nairobi’s Kibera slum — Raila’s Nairobi political stronghold — to launch a government hospital last month in the company of the former prime minister, hinted at an imminent endorsement, asking the crowd to make the right choice in the coming elections.

The Service Party leader Mwangi Kiunjuri has said that any Presidential hopeful seeking support from Mt. Kenya region must assure of a referendum in the first 100 days.

Speaking during a burial ceremony in Siakago village, Mbeere North on Saturday, Kiunjuri said that Mt. Kenya region will only receive a fair share of national cake if the Constitution is amended.

“We cannot have one man one shilling one vote if we don’t have a referendum. So whoever wants our support must guarantee us a referendum in the first 100 days. This should be an irreducible minimum for Mt. Kenya region,” said Kiunjuri.

The former agriculture CS wants all presidential hopeful to lay bare how their administration will improve the lives of the vote rich region and the strategy they intend to apply to turn around the economy.

“Mt. Kenya is an agricultural zone, we want presidential aspirants to assure us that they will honor the Malabo declaration, and set aside 10% of the national budget for agriculture. We are signatories to this declaration, and so it should be honored.” said Kiunjuri.

Meanwhile, National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi has said the next president can still come from Mt Kenya.

Speaking at ACK Kongoini church in Kiharu yesterday, Muturi told off those who have been implying that the region should not field a presidential candidate in the 2022 General Election.

“Let no one mislead Kenyans that Mt Kenya cannot produce the next president because no one deserves the top seat more than others” he said.

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