The succession debate in Mt Kenya region is still gaining momentum as three political factions ranging from governors, ministers and influential MPs battle for the heart and soul of the region kingship.
President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to retire come 2022 and political leaders opine that the region’s leadership can’t be left in a vacuum as the community will need its Moses.
GEMA leaders have expressed the need to form an economic block to bolster the bargaining power when it comes to the sharing of the national cake.
The game plan here entails settling on an individual who can unite the region and give it a sense of direction as the 2022 political race hots up.
Many leaders from the vast region have been fronted by the electorate to take over the kingpin seat that is currently occupied by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
They include Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru, former Kiambu Governor William Kabogo, Murangá Governor Mwangi wa Iria, former Nairobi County Governorship contestant Peter Kenneth, former Agriculture CS Mwangi Kiunjuri and former Nyeri Senator Mutahi Kagwe.
Others are; Tharaka Nithi Senator Kithure Kindiki, National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi, Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi and Agriculture CS Peter Munya.
A source privy to the succession plan, who spoke to Opera News on condition of anonymity, explained that Mutahi Kagwe, the nominated CS Health, was being groomed to take over from President Kenyatta. He is also seen as the best candidate capable of diluting DP William Ruto’s ever-increasing influence in the region.
“Mr Kagwe will play a major role in President Kenyatta’s succession politics, he took over from Mwangi Kiunjuri who was being groomed as the region kingpin as soon as he was sacked from the cabinet,” the source stated.
Apart from just endorsing Mr Kagwe, President Kenyatta will be paying a political debt that is owed to former powerful Minister John Michuki.
Michuki, in 2010, while serving as the Environment Minister, endorsed President Kenyatta as the Mt Kenya spokesperson and urged the community to back him.
It is worth noting that Mr Kagwe is married to Michuki’s daughter who hails from Murangá County.
Other positions that Mr Kagwe has held in the past include being a Minister for Information and Communications, Nyeri Senator and the Mukurweini MP.
Recently, Mr Kagwe was appointed to the Cabinet in a deal that was brokered by Starehe MP Maina Kamanda.
In Murangá County, calls have already been made by the seating governor who has asked the electorate to unite and ensure that they also produce a president.
Waithira Muitharania, the Kenya Industrial Estate Director, has in the past argued that it is time a leader from Murangá be awarded the country’s top seat.
“The gods of luck are with us [Murang’a]. We want peace, unity and our businesses to grow. We are also looking for a person who will protect our girls when they leave Murang’a,” he stated in a past interview.
Political pundit cum politician, Kamau Gakuru, argues that President Kenyatta is a good political student and has been using the same approach as the second President of Kenya Daniel Moi.
In 1999, Ex-President Moi appointed President Kenyatta as the Chair of Kenya Tourism Board and later nominated him to parliament in 2001 after he lost a bid to represent Gatundu South constituency in 1997.
“Just check the trends and see the similarity, the way Uhuru was introduced into power by Moi is the same way Kagwe is being introduced. In 2017, Kagwe lost Nyeri gubernatorial race, Uhuru has now appointed him into the Cabinet in an effort to pay the debt he owes the late Michuki,” Gakuru stated.
Contacted for comment on the succession matrix, former Kiambu governor William Kabogo believes the region isn’t short of leaders and whoever will be appointed by the community will be fully supported.
Kabogo further stated that leaders across the region should be helping President Kenyatta attain his big-four agenda rather than playing the 2022 divisive politics.
“These premature campaigns should end, leaders should shun succession political campaigns and empower the electorate economically,” Kabogo noted.
The former county boss was categorical that this is the time for leaders to work together for the betterment of Wanjiku and not for their selfish gains.
“The question of who will succeed who shouldn’t arise at this stage, let them embrace the spirit of hard work and serve Kenyans that got them to power,” he advised.
He appealed to the leadership to fully focus on the economic growth by spending most of their time with the constituents and address their problems rather than politicking in every corner.
“You know Kenyans are tired, it is very irritating to dwell on one debate of succession, what Kenyans need for now are projects and empowerment, the 2022 leader will be given by God,” Kabogo concluded.