Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi has been conspicuously missing from the Azimio la Umoja gatherings spearheaded by ODM Leader Raila Odinga.
Kiraitu’s decision to gradually withdraw his support for Mr. Odinga has been informed by several factors surrounding his gubernatorial bid in Meru, mainly the growing popularity of the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) in the County.
It now appears that Governor Kiraitu has changed his mind about supporting Mr. Odinga. His most recent comments hinted at remaining neutral or supporting William Ruto’s 2022 bid in efforts to retain his Governorship in Meru.
Addressing supporters at Thiiri Center during the launch of his new Party, Governor Murungi said the decision on who to support for the country’s top seat will ne made by the Party’s top organ at an unknown date.
“It is the bus that will make that decision. It is not about Kiraitu Murungi, Mugambi Imanyara (secretary-general) or any other DEP official. We will consult the drivers of the bus, who are party officials, as well as the ward representatives and they will tell us the candidate our people in the villages want,” the governor said.
Kiraitu and Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya, on October 18, hosted Raila for his Azimio La Umoja campaigns in Meru County and residents to support the ODM leader’s presidential bid.
During the rallies, Kiraitu asked Ameru people to vote for Raila with the promise he will revive the miraa market.
“Baba (Raila) is well-known for the fight of the country’s second liberation. Would you want him to fight for miraa? Do you want Baba to fight for the youth? You people are the real army for Raila,” the governor said.
A few weeks later, Dr. Ruto visited the region and accused Kiraitu of trying to impose Raila on the residents. Ruto who was flanked by Meru Senator Mithika Linturi, Imenti South MP Kathuri Murungi and Mathira MP Rigathi Kachagua accused Kiraitu of trying to sell the political soul of Mt Kenya East to Raila ahead of the elections.
A lot of negotiations have been happening, with the most recent being a meeting between Governor Kiraitu and Senator Mithika Linturi alongside Imenti Central MP Kirima Ngushine, both UDA Lieutenants in Meru.
Kiraitu has since changed tune, insisting that it is only the people that have the power to decide between Raila and Ruto.
“We will do an analysis of Raila and Ruto before making our choice based on who can help our people better,” the Governor now says.
There has also been pressure for Governor Kiraitu to shift to a different camp from Agriculture CS Peter Munya, who has also declared his interest in the County top seat.
This has been compounded by Meru Women Re Kawira Mwangaza’s interest in contesting for the same seat on a UDA ticket. Inside sources close to Senator Linturi have revealed that the Governor is willing to support Ruto’s bid on condition that UDA does not field a gubernatorial candidate in Meru.
However, South Imenti MP Kathuri Murungi insists that UDA will field candidates for all the possible seats in Meru. The legislator says that eventually, the Mbus Party will be swallowed by UDA since it has no agenda for the Meru people.
“Tutaingiza Mbus kwa Wheelbarrow, na itatoshea (we will fix the Mbus inside the wheelbarrow),” Kathuri posted on his Social Media pages this morning. A large section of Meru residents seem to agree with the Imenti South MP, saying Kiraitu’s new outfit has a long way to go before it gains significant traction in the County and beyond.
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