INSIDE MT KENYA SUPREMACY WARS
By Andrew Mirara
President Uhuru Kenyatta has shied away from naming his successor as Mt. Kenya perhaps because he anticipated that he would stay a bit longer in the political scene even after his retirement as President. Indeed he was appointed as Chair of the Azimio – One Kenya Coalition Council, meaning if this coalition was to win in the 2022 general elections, he would be in the thick of things in running the government.
This move has attracted attention from some Mt. Kenya politicians who are keen to take over as Mt. Kenya Kingpin. Notable politicians are Mwangi Kiunjuri, William Kabogo, Justin Muturi, Moses Kuria, Rigathi Gachagua and Martha Karua. With such a pool of experienced politicians, battle lines are bound to be drawn.
It is important to note that with the exception of Rigathi Gachagua, all the others at one point were holding meetings dubbed Mt. Kenya Unity Forum. The idea behind it was to speak with one voice on issues that the Mt Kenya region would want to be addressed by Presidential candidates in return for their support now that the Mt. Kenya region was not going to have a notable Presidential candidate in 2022.
However, the meetings soon collapsed with all players pulling in different directions. In the end, Martha Karua joined Azimio One Kenya Coalition with the rest joining Kenya Kwanza Coalition. In recent days there has been infighting in the Kenya Kwanza Mt. Kenya wing. More so, guns have been drawn on Deputy President Nominee Rigathi Gachagua. After being named as DP William Ruto’s Running mate, his political clout was elevated.
This has made him the most likely person to take over as Mt Kenya Kingpin. His political campaign rallies have majorly been made across the Mount Kenya region as he seeks to consolidate support for DP Ruto in the region. With this status, it has drawn some criticism in equal measure. He has been blamed for campaigning for voting in of UDA candidates in the Mt Kenya region even when other Kenya Kwanza Parties have candidates in the region.
For Mwangi Kiunjuri, it all started when he was fired from being CS for Agriculture by President Uhuru. It is perceived that he was fired because of being close to Deputy President William Ruto. Soon after he founded his political party called The Service Party.
At the time, Deputy President William Ruto was being fought within Jubilee Party and Kiunjuri founded the party with the hope that if Ruto decided to jump out of the Jubilee ship, he would join TSP, but this was not to be with Ruto choosing to join Party of Development and Reforms which was later renamed as United Democratic Alliance. This was a party that had a cooperation agreement with Jubilee Party. Had William Ruto joined TSP, it would have elevated Kiunjuri’s political status.
DP Ruto’s refusal to join TSP didn’t go down well with Kiunjuri and that’s why despite joining Kenya Kwanza Alliance, he has somehow been lukewarm in campaigning for DP Ruto. He has been campaigning for his party’s candidates. He blames Rigathi Gachagua for favouring UDA candidates over other candidates from other Kenya Kwanza parties.
William Kabogo has been trying to reinvent himself as he seeks to recapture the Kiambu governorship through his party Tujibebe Party. Numerous times, Kabogo has declared himself to be the next Mt. Kenya Kingpin. One then can understand why he attacked Rigathi Gachagua. He has effectively withdrawn from joining Kenya Kwanza campaigns following his accusations that Rigathi doesn’t accord him respect as a Principal.
This followed after a political clash between him and his UDA competitor Kimani Wamatangi during a campaign tour in Kiambu which degenerated into a shouting match between the two. Kabogo later wrote a letter together with Chama cha Kazi Party Leader Moses Kuria citing displeasure of how small parties are being treated unfairly by Rigathi Gachagua.
It is quite telling why they would single out Rigathi. This is because since being appointed by DP Ruto as his Running mate, Rigathi Gachagua has been elevated over them politically thereby standing a better chance of succeeding President Uhuru Kenyatta as Mt. Kenya Kingpin. Moses Kuria has since returned to the Kenya Kwanza fold and is actively campaigning for DP William Ruto.
Depending on the outcome of the 9th August General elections, more internal wars are expected as these politicians trade barbs against each other.