Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi has now admitted that ODM leader Raila Odinga may not get a substantial number of votes from Meru County and the larger Mt. Kenya region in the August 9 general election.
In a TV interview on Monday (14th March 2022), Governor Kiraitu says DP Ruto’s growing popularity in Meru has never been in question.
Several Opinion polls have revealed that Ruto enjoys overwhelming support in Meru and other Mt. Kenya counties, ranging from 65% to 80% in popularity ratings. The UDA Party has also been severally rated as the most popular Party in Kenya.
“The research is indeed true. DP Ruto is the most popular candidate in Meru and the entire Mt. Kenya region. Our country is however made up of several other regions, and many of them support Raila Odinga,” Kiraitu says.
Governor Kiraitu however says that ODM leader Raila Odinga will still win the Presidency on August 9, since he enjoys support from other regions in Kenya.
“Even without votes from Meru, Raila Odinga will still win. If you look keenly, you will realize that he currently enjoys the support of several populous regions in Kenya,” he added.
Kiraitu likened the current Meru situation to the days when the region overwhelmingly supported Mwai Kibaki, only to end up in the Opposition.
“Here in Meru, we really supported Mwai Kibaki, but he lost and ended up becoming the Opposition leader. We may sing about Ruto in Meru, Tharaka Nithi, Embu, Kiambu, but when other regions come in, he ends up losing. His people need not be overconfident.” Kiraitu says.
On Tuesday March 8, Kiraitu announced that his Devolution Empowerment Party (Mbus) had officially joined the Raila-led Azimio La Umoja movement.
“We have done research, talked to opponents and listened to confidential reports. I can confidently tell you that the fifth president of the Republic of Kenya is no other than Raila Odinga,” he said at an event held at Kaaga in Meru.
The decision prompted several leaders allied to DP Ruto’s United Democratic Alliance (UDA) to quickly formulate an alternative lineup to battle it out with Governor Kiraitu in the August 9 general election.
“Kiraitu Murungi decided to take us round circles. He had initially promised to join the Kenya Kwanza Coalition, but it seems he yielded to State intimidation. He will have himself to blame because UDA will form the next government in Kenya and in Meru County,” said Senator Mithika Linturi.
Just three weeks ago, Senator Linturi declared his interest in the Meru gubernatorial bid at an event in Maili Tatu, Maua. Kiraitu however insists that Linturi’s decision is not based on any substantial agenda for the Meru people.
“Linturi is initiating a dangerous type of politics in Meru. Dividing our people into Tigania, Imenti and Igembe clans for political gains is not politics. Even in a merry go round, no single member declares herself the winner, They all sit down and agree.” says Governor Kiraitu.
According to Kiraitu, CS Munya is a frontrunner in the contest for Raila Odinga’s runningmate, and several Meru leaders will be rallying their support behind the Azimio movement to increase his chances of being picked for the position.
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