List of demands Mt Kenya MP’s laid out before supporting a Ruto presidency

Monday, April 19th, 2021 00:00 | By
Deputy President William Ruto (right), Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika and Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua at a past church service in Nakuru. Photo/PD/File

Ruto presidency: Leaders from Mt Kenya region supporting Deputy President William Ruto’s presidential bid have initiated talks on position sharing and revival of the region’s economy in case he wins.

The talks kicked off during the weekend when two different committees were formed to initiate the discussions.

Held at the Mathira Member of Parliament Rigathi Gachagua’s Karen residence, the meeting brought together 48 lawmakers while 12 participated virtually.

Gachagua disclosed that the MPs want Ruto to disclose to them what plans he has for the region in terms of reviving the economy, and the positions he plans to set aside for the region should he become the country’s next president.

“The committees will come up with proposals, which will be presented to the DP for consideration on which positions will be on offer and what plans they have to revive the region’s economy,” Gachagua disclosed yesterday.

To jump-start the talks, a retreat will be held soon where the DP is expected to inform the MPs what he has in store for the region, Bahati MP Kimani Ngunjiri said.

Ngunjiri said the vote-rich Mt Kenya region has shown its support for Ruto, hence the need to negotiate ahead of next year’s elections to avert any crisis.

Gachagua told People Daily that the talks were centred on the gains for the region under a Ruto presidency.

Leaders steering the talks include Meru Senator Mithika Linturi, MPs Gachagua, Kimani Ichung’wa (Kikuyu), Alice Wahome (Kandara) and Senator John Kinyua (Laikipia). 

Others are  Tharaka Nithi Woman Rep Beatrice Nkatha,  her Kirinyaga counterpart Wangui Ngirichi, Faith Gitau (Nyandarua) and Cecily Mbarire (Nominated).  

Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro will chair the economic revival team and will be assisted by MPs John Kiarie (Dagoretti South), Moses Kuria (Gatundu South), Senator Susan Kihika (Nakuru), George Kariuki (Ndia) and John Muchiri (Manyatta).

The team will be tasked to find out ways the economy, which has been performing poorly after the collapse of coffee farming, the dairy sector and Miraa trade will be revitalised.

“We want our region to be guaranteed minimum returns under the Ruto presidency.

All agricultural sectors are on their knees and we want him to tell us what he will do to resuscitate them,” Gachagua said.

Formal negotiations

Ichung’wa said the meeting’s agenda was to discuss and agree on formal negotiations with Ruto, whom they have identified as their preferred candidate.

“The negotiations will be divided into two parts: part one is the economic agenda of the 11 counties and part two is the political interest, including positions the region should get in the next government,” he said.

Ichung’wa added: “We agreed to set up two committees with representatives from each county to steer the negotiations, which we intend to be centred around our people’s issues.

We want to change the matrix from one of negotiating purely for political positions that benefit a few political leaders to one about the empowerment of our people.

We want an engagement with the candidate on matters of economic recovery and measures he will take to restore our people’s economic power.”

In January, the MPs wrote a letter to President Uhuru Kenyatta on the economy and development of the region ahead of a meeting at Sagana State Lodge.

In the letter, they decried the state of the economy, which they claimed had been abandoned by the Jubilee administration, especially in its second-term.

“The mountain will remain restless, dissatisfied and defiant. Ultimately, full-blown revolt will be inevitable,” read the letter signed by 41 MPs.

On the state of the economy, the MPs said the Mt Kenya economy is “limping and groaning” with the residents going through “personal and communal suffering” as a direct result of the government’s policies.

They said policies related to import and export trade as well as demolition of structures in Nairobi and its environment have been used to impoverish people from the region.

“As much as we appreciate infrastructure improvements and the efforts to spruce up urban areas, the humanitarian and economic impact of wanton destruction of property on vulnerable people has been inordinate,” the letter stated.

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