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Mt. Kenya Legislators to Engage Presidential Candidates

Members of Parliament from Mt. Kenya region will be meeting individually to those seeking for the presidency in order to have a meaningful engagement.

Gichugu MP Gichimu Githinji said since every Constituency in the region has its unique needs and requirements, it will be upon such a legislator to put on the table such requirements before the contender.

Githinji said unlike before when legislators from the entire region would meet the presidential contender as a team, the ground has changed.

“As regional MPs, we will be open for talks and negotiations at an individual level, to talk to anyone from whichever side of the political divide seeking for the presidency before the forthcoming general elections so that we may agree on what such a contender will provide our respective constituencies should he win,” he said.

The legislator said such talks were not limited to the Deputy President William Ruto but also open to anyone else who intends to run for the top office on land.

The first time MP was speaking at Kathunguri Anglican church in his home ground during the burial of the immediate Rung’eto Coffee Cooperative Society Chairman the late Njiru Kimwea.

Deputy Governor Kirinyaga Peter Ndambiri address the mourners inside the church. Photo by Irungu Mwangi

The Tanga tanga allied leader also took a swipe on some Kieleweke leaders for castigating them over questioning the suitability of Deputy President William Ruto’s candidature while all along they have been rallying behind him.

He said that was not an exit strategy from Tanga tanga but exercising leadership roles for which they were elected.

“As much as we have been in support of Ruto’s candidature, we have a right to secure the future of our people by putting him on the hot seat and demanding to know what benefits his government will bring to our region. This is the season to have such discussions,” Githinji said

Githinji said he would have a sitting with farmers from his constituency once the proposals are tabled before parliament.

“Gichugu is one of the mega-production of coffee. As such, I will be at the forefront of engaging farmers from my constituency on the coffee bill. We will have a civic education on it and will scrutinize each proposal so that we can see how it will help us.” he said.

At the same time, Githinji has asked his constituents to differentiate the role of a Legislator under the devolved system of government.

He said maintenance and improvement of rural access roads in the constituency were the responsibility of the County government and not that of an MP.

“When I see some  people complaining that I have abandoned the maintenance of the feeder and access  roads in the area I should remind them that such a responsibility  lies under the area County government while my role is security and upgrading of school infrastructure  to the required standards, “he said.

And the local Deputy governor Peter Ndambiri who was present said  while he was in full support of the proposed reforms  in the coffee sector, farmers should be allowed to point out what they felt they did not like in the entire process.

“Since we are a democracy it will be imperative for the government to provide the farmers with a draft of the proposed reforms so that they pass what they see well in the process and also be able to reject what they deemed unfit, “he said.

He said under the 2010 Constitution, anything new must undergo public participation to avoid heaping things on the people without their consent or knowledge of what was being brought to them.

He said Mt. Kenya leaders should not be condemned for demanding to know what various presidential candidates have in store for the region.

Ndambiri rallied behind the unity of the region’s leaders saying it is the best way to negotiate on behalf of Mt. Kenya people.

“We are solely behind the unity of leaders in a bid to make sure that the region is not left out in the sharing of the national cake. We need to know the direction we are heading so that we can know our fate,” he said.

Ndambiri emphasized on the need for the region to have one voice as far as the 2022 politics is concerned as well as an unshakable leadership that will lead even after the retirement of President Uhuru Kenyatta.

“If other blocks are uniting in preparation for next year’s election, why should Mt. Kenya be left out? We need to have a leadership that will see to it that the problems of our people are solved and their needs catered for,” he said

The Deputy Governor said various candidates should be accorded a chance to meet up with the region’s leaders in a bid to explain what goodies their governments will bring to the region.

He said through such meetings, the leaders would be able to give a hearing to different proposals hence help in making informed decisions on the most preferred presidential candidate.

“We don’t want a spokesperson to negotiate on behalf of the region. We want all regional leaders to be present at the negotiation table because our people have different needs. There are those who want the next government to tackle the miseries of coffee and tea farmers while there are those who want pyrethrum, horticulture, Miraa, and other farms produce to be given first priority,” Ndambiri said.

By Irungu Mwangi

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