A section of Mount Kenya leaders has written to President Uhuru Kenyatta ahead of the scheduled meeting at Sagana River State Lodge in Nyeri County on Saturday, expressing their dissatisfaction on his leadership.
In the letter dated January 28, the leaders allied to Deputy President William Ruto’s Tanga Tanga camp protested exclusion in the planning of the meeting.
The Members of Parliament including Senate Chief Whip Irungu Kang’ata, who recently wrote a similar letter to the President detailing unpopularity of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) draft Bill in the Mount Kenya region, listed at least 10 points that they want the president to consider ahead of the Sagana meeting.
Notably, the defiant lawmakers claimed that the president’s handshake partner Raila Odinga is “unsellable” in the region, further warning the President against imposing him or any other candidate as the region’s favourite ahead of the 2022 race to State House.
“Raila Odinga Your Excellency, For 8 years, between 2011 and 2018, you consistently and persistently cautioned us that Raila Odinga was Kenya’s foremost problem, and pleaded with us to send him home for the country to move forward. You were only emphasizing what our people already knew, taking into account his history In the use of violence and ethnic divisions as a means to achieve political power.
“As a result, he is an existential threat to the economy and national unity. We must be direct and truthful with you: We cannot sell Raila Odinga in our region or, indeed, any other imposed presidential candidate. You blame the leaders and people of the Mt. Kenya region for being reluctant to accept the Handshake and the BBI. It is not their fault. The successful effort you made to persuade the people and render Raila Odinga unacceptable in Mt. Kenya cannot be undone in your lifetime, ” the letter reads.
The leaders accused the President of having betrayed his deputy who he had promised to support during the 2013 and 2017 Presidential elections.
“The new political turn in the conduct and practice of politics has, therefore, left us disappointed and outraged. Our people are honourable people, whose lives and livelihoods are based on honesty and trust. Many are devoted Christians.
“As entrepreneurs and businesspeople, our people’s lives depend on trust and honesty. The new political agenda propounded by a faction publicly allied to you, which seeks to normalize treachery, dishonesty, deceit and betrayal as defining traits of our region and people is tragic, dangerous and unacceptable. We are honourable people, and we went it to be known always, in word and deed, that we stand for honour, honesty, integrity and trust in all of our dealings, ” the letter adds.
The leaders also took issue with the President’s recent remarks in Mululu that two communities — Kikuyus and Kalenjins — should allow other communities to lead. They termed the President’s utterances as “selfish”.
“Your Excellency, we watched In disbelief as you declared that inclusivity will be achieved by banning two communities from fielding presidential aspirants because previous leaders have hailed from those communities.
“We believe that Kenya is an equal-opportunity republic, where any person can rise to the pinnacle of their ambition lawfully through hard work. People are raising their children to aspire for the highest possibilities in this country and in the world. To insinuate that Kikuyus should not aspire for the Presidency, because others have been President, is unfortunate, insulting and selfish. We call on you to use this meeting to reflect and withdraw these unfortunate and III-considered utterances, ” they said.
On matters economy, the MPs claimed that the president has done nothing to boast about, especially in the Mount Kenya region when compared to former President Mwai Kibaki’s track record.
“Under President Mwai Kibaki’s administration, we experienced unprecedented rates of economic growth. People had money in their pockets and economic activity was high and visible. This happened despite many serious challenges, including post-election violence. Today, economically speaking, Mt. Kenya is limping and groaning. People are crying bitter tears. In Nyamakima, Gikomba, Kamukunji and on Taveta, Kirinyaga and River roads, businesses have closed as besieged traders relocate to the rural areas to dress their wounds, ” the MPs said.
“This personal and communal suffering is a direct result of the policies of Your Excellency’s administration. Import and export trade, which employed millions of traders from our region, was viciously disrupted when merchandise that formed the mainstay of countless enterprises was branded counterfeit. It was impounded, seized, destroyed and set on fire. Our people literally saw their lives’ savings and lifetime investments go up in smoke.
“Another policy of Your Excellency’s administration that has caused profound anguish and destitution was the aggressive demolition of structures housing families and businesses of many people. In the bitter cold of a freezing July, at the height of the deadly Covid-19 pandemic, hardworking Kenyans In Ruai and Kariobangi were woken up to the terrible turmoil of heavy machinery pulverizing their homes, businesses and little hustles.”
Under Uhuru’s leadership, the MPs claimed, it has become a norm for state agencies including the investigative agencies to be used to settle political scores.
They attributed the President’s failures to poor advisers.
“A number of us had the good fortune to some (credible agents) when Hon Kibaki was President. Owing to pressure of work, leaders could not access him often. However, accessible, credible and effective agents had been designated to consider and address any pressing issues the people of Mt. Kenya raised through their leaders. Hon. John Michuki, Hon. Njenga Karume, Mr. Francis Muthaura, Mr. J. B Wanjui and Mr. Stanley Murage were trusted lieutenants with the capability to represent the President effectively in any forum. We would NOT have written this letter to you if such leaders existed in your government. We have strong doubts that David Murathe and Francis Atwoli are persons of the calibre we have in mind, ” they said.
“…Be that as it may, we hope that the issues we have raised form the agenda for consideration at Sagana. This is important if we are to make real progress in advancing your programmes and legacy. If not, we are afraid, this Sagana encounter will be yet another public relations talk shop, where those in attendance will collect Sh5,000 of public funds for no meaningful work done. That will be unfortunate indeed, given that there is neither time nor money to waste at this point. Consequently, the mountain will remain restless, dissatisfied, and defiant. Ultimately, full-blown revolt will be inevitable.”