Leave local politics, concentrate on AU campaigns – Kenya Kwanza MPs tell Raila

Sunday, March 10th, 2024 19:13 | By
Deputy President Rigathi Gachangua is welcomed by Embu ACK's bishop, David Muriithi, at ACK Ciamanda Runyenjes. PHOTO/Brian Malila
Deputy President Rigathi Gachangua is welcomed by Embu ACK's bishop, David Muriithi, at ACK Ciamanda Runyenjes. PHOTO/Brian Malila

A section of Kenya Kwanza legislators has called on Azimio la Umoja - One Kenya coalition leader Raila Odinga to focus on the Africa Union Commission (AUC) chairmanship campaign and leave local politics.

While speaking at ACK St Francis Ciamanda Church in Runyenjes, Embu County, during a fundraiser organised by Esther Mworia, Principal Secretary of State Department for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), the members of parliament said Raila was confusing them about which seat he wants.

Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei said Raila should only concentrate on AU campaigns but not his presidential candidacy, further suggesting that focusing on the latter may cost him the AU seat.

He said the former Premier cannot be holding rallies and meetings to mobilize his presidential votes instead of investing his energy in seeking the AU chairmanships.

Further, he urged the Azimio leader to come out clean and declare the seat he wants.

"There is no way one can be campaigning for the presidency and at the same time for an AU seat; it's either one, and if our brother needs the presidency to compete with William Ruto, he should also tell us we are ready," he said.

Mbeere North MP Geoffrey Ruku claimed that Raila was campaigning for two seats, saying this might jeopardize the effort of those looking for his AU seat.

Ruku said the government is working tirelessly and investing heavily in Raila's candidacy, and thus he should not show some actions that depict that his energy is not in the AU bid.

However, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua, who was present, steered clear of the debate and focused on the development agenda for the Kenya Kwanza government.

Gachagua said he will meet representatives of avocado farmers on Tuesday for a comprehensive engagement on issues affecting the subsector.

He said that the meeting aims at improving the fortunes of the farmers.

"I have convened a meeting between Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture (Mithika Linturi) and officials of avocado farmers to address the issues affecting the farmers and find the way forward," Gachagua said.

He said the government is committed to addressing all issues affecting agricultural sub-sectors, including avocado, coffee, tea, dairy, macadamia, muguka, and horticulture.

The Tuesday meeting is in response to the fruit farmers' call for interventions for better income and expansion of the global market for Kenyan produce.

The government is aiming to improve farmers’ production and livelihoods, he explained, adding that the country's envoys have also been instructed to explore and expand the export market for Kenya's produce.

Citing the prices of macadamia nuts, the DP said since the Kenya Kwanza administration came to power, the price has shot up from Sh20 per kilogram in 2022 to Sh120 in 2024.

"The price of macadamia had gone down to Sh20 in 2022 but has gone up to over Sh120 because of efforts by the current administration. Tea farmers received huge bonuses last year; we have hopes they will get even better pay this year," he said.

At the same time, the deputy president said President William Ruto has performed well in lowering the cost of living, reviving the country's economy, and improving the income of smallholder farmers since the Kenya Kwanza administration took power.

Leaders present

Others who accompanied the DP include Head of Public Service Felix Koskei, Embu Governor Cecily Mbarire, Embu Senator Alex Mundigi, MPs Muchangi Karemba (Runyenjes), Nebart Muriuki (Mbeere South), Embu County MP Pamela Njoki, Kajiado North MP Onesmus Ngogoyo, Gitonga Mukunji (Manyatta), and Benjamin Gathiru Mejjadonk (Embakasi Central).

Other principal secretaries present included Alex Wachira (State Department for Energy), Gitonga Mugambi (State Department for Forestry), Joseph Mbugua (State Department for Roads), Muthoni Njagi (State Department for Blue Economy and Fisheries), James Muhati (State Department for Economic Planning), Ephantus Kimotho (State Department for Irrigation), and Edward Kisiang'ani (State Department for Broadcasting and Telecommunications).

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