KNA Tharaka Member of Parliament (MP) Gitonga Murugara has dismissed claims that the Mt. Kenya region is divided over the decision to support National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi to take the mantle as the region’s leader after president Uhuru Kenyatta retires next year.
The MP described Muturi as a humble leader who listens to everyone that approaches him which makes him the best placed person to take the region’s leadership and enable it negotiate for their position in the next government.
“Unlike other leaders we have seen, the national assembly is not arrogant and he listens and attends to grievances from Mt. Kenya regions in a bid to ensure they are solved. This virtue therefore qualifies to be a leader who can represent Mt. Kenya nationally,’’ he said.
Speaking during a fundraiser for Nthaara secondary school in Marimanti ward in Tharaka Nithi County, where Muturi was the chief guest Friday, Murugara cautioned the national parliament speaker against being used as a tool to divide Mt. Kenya region by people who want to use the region’s fall out to benefit politically.
The MP denied claims that Mt. Kenya is divided into Mt. Kenya East and West over Muturi’s presidential bid adding that Mt. Kenya west has not declined to support the national assembly speaker and that the narrative is being peddled by people who wish to see the unity of the populous region disintegrate for their selfish interests.
Besides Murugara many other leaders from the Mt. Kenya region drawn from Meru, Tharaka Nithi, Embu and Kirinyaga counties continued to throw their political weight behind Muturi, citing him as best placed owing to his vast experience in national politics.
However, the Tharaka legislator who is a close ally of deputy president William Ruto reminded Muturi that he was free to negotiate power with anybody else provided the goal remains championing interests of hustlers.
“We are opting to support Muturi because being our neighbour from Mbeere land, he well understands the situations that the regions is going through especially Tharaka which is marginalized just like his homeland. He is thus free to negotiate for power with anyone he wishes provided his focus remains supporting poor hustlers he well knows whom he knows very well,’’ Gitonga added.
Mbeere North MP Muriuki Njagagua termed Muturi as the most senior politician who has vast political experience that goes way back to the former president Moi’s reign.
Njagagua noted that during Muturi’s tenure as the speaker of the national assembly, no government motion has ever flopped on the floor of the house, which is a clear indication that he is competent leader and determined in dispensing his duties.
He said Mt. Kenya has stood with the rest of Mt. Kenya region since independence without any division and it is time now for Western part to offer support to Muturi to rise to a national position.
Marimanti ward MCA who is eying the post of the Tharaka Nithi County Women Representative Susan Ngugi faulted the previous regimes for neglecting Tharaka Nithi despite the county being known to fully support all the previous and current regimes, adding that there is need for residents to be vigilant this time round.
“Tharaka Nithi has been used for long especially in voting for presidential candidates from the other parts of the mountain, but unfortunately we have not had enough senior government positions since independence. I therefore urge you to be extra-careful with people who you will trust your votes with this time round,’’ she said.
The MCA said although they are supporting Muturi’s bid to lead the mountain, he has a task to prove to the people of Tharaka Nithi County why he is different from past kingpins and that he will not sideline them in terms of development and appointments.
In his short speech, Muturi affirmed that at no time will he allow Mt. Kenya to be divided on political basis and he is ready to lead the region as the kingpin since Mt. Kenya East has been lacking a competent person to represent them.
“We have lagged behind as a region simply because we had no competent person to rally behind to represent us nationally. However, time is now ripe to rise up and champion for our space nationally. I am equal to the task,’’ Muturi affirmed.
He said that he was persuaded by elders to be the region’s spokesperson and he heeded to their call disputing allegations that he endorsed himself to be Mt. Kenya East spokesperson.
The national assembly speaker was coronated by Kikuyu elders some months ago at Mukurwe wa Nyagathanga shrines in Murang’a County to become Mt. Kenya East spokesperson a ceremony that sparked various reactions from the region.
Tharaka Nithi governor Muthomi Njuki, Martin Wambora of Embu and Kiraitu Murungi of Meru County have since met Muturi and promised to offer him support to take the regions mantle after President Kenyatta.
However former Meru County governor and the current agriculture CS Peter Munya has been rubbishing Muturi’s coronation saying president Uhuru still remains the de facto spokesperson for the region.
Other leaders who were present at the fundraiser included Chiakariga ward MCA Njagi Murandi, his Gatunga ward counterpart Mutegi Rugia, and Nyaki west ward MCA Mworia Kiongozi from Meru County all of whom undertook to support Muturi.