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Kiraitu backs Kindiki not Linturi as Mount Kenya East kingpin – Weekly Citizen



Kiraitu backs Kindiki not Linturi as Mount Kenya East kingpin – Weekly Citizen

The stage has been set for the media-shy Interior cabinet secretary Kithure Kindiki to become the Meru spokesman and by extension, the Mt Kenya East kingpin.

Mt Kenya East that comprises Embu, Meru and Tharaka Nithi counties has been fighting to produce the Mt Kenya kingpin given that all the past holders of the position Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, Mwai Kibaki and Uhuru Kenyatta hailed from the Kikuyu-speaking Mt Kenya West.

Kithure Kindiki

Other likely faces in the region to be spokesperson are Attorney General Justin Muturi and Agriculture cabinet secretary Mithika Linturi.

And now, leaders from the three counties, majority of them elected on United Democratic Alliance platform are pushing for Kindiki to become the regional honcho at the expense of others although deputy president Rigathi Gachagua who hails from Nyeri county, which is in Mt Kenya West, has been spreading his wings in the region.

Rigathi Gachagua

Already, one of the contestants for the position, former Meru governor Kiraitu Murungi has quit active politics and reportedly backed Kindiki for the position.

Word has it that Linturi who is close to Gachagua, may decide to run for Meru governorship come 2027.

The 71-year-old Kiraitu threw in the towel after he failed to recapture his seat in the 2022 general election.

Kiraitu, who defended his seat on Devolution Empowerment Party, which was part of the Azimio coalition, was floored by independent candidate the amiable Kawira Mwangaza.

Besides Kiraitu, Mwangaza also floored the then Senator Mithika Linturi, effectively sending the two heavyweights to political oblivion after dominating local politics for years.

Linturi contested on William Ruto’s UDA ticket. The former senator got a political lifeline after Ruto named him Agriculture cabinet secretary.

Mithika Linturi

Reports indicate that Linturi has opted to concentrate on his docket as he prepares to take another stab on the Meru governor’s seat in the 2027 general election.

For Kiraitu, he immediately after the polls got another job after the then outgoing president Uhuru Kenyatta appointed him as a member of the Kenya Law Reform Commission.

He was immediately sworn in by Chief Justice Martha Koome.

But the former governor shocked Azimio when he led Dep lawmakers from Meru in meeting the then Presidentelect, Ruto, at a time the Raila Odinga coalition had challenged Ruto’s victory at the Supreme Court.

The meeting was confirmed by Ruto through his social media accounts.

“Received the leadership of Dep at the Karen Office, Nairobi, led by former Meru governor Kiraitu Murungi. Leaders present were deputy president-elect Rigathi Gachagua, Musalia Mudavadi, Moses Wetang’ula, Salim Mvurya, Aden Duale, Cecily Mbarire, Justin Muturi, Lenny Kivuti, Kathuri Murungi, Moses Kirima, Mugambi Rindikiri, Mithika Linturi and Elizabeth Karambu,” Ruto who was then the deputy president wrote on his Facebook account.

Before the August 9 elections, Kiraitu had braved a barrage of attacks from UDA followers and the party wave in Meru with Ruto urging him to abandon Raila but he stayed put.

In the gubernatorial race, Mwangaza garnered 209,158 votes, Linturi 183,859 while Kiraitu was third with 110,850 votes.

And now, there are reports Kindiki pushed for the appointment of Kiraitu as the chairperson of the National Oil Corporation of Kenya.

Political pundits aver that Kiraitu and others have agreed to back Kindiki as the regional spokesman, hoping that Ruto will pick him as running mate in the 2027 general election.

The move is also aimed at helping the region bargain at the national level, and during election period.

There are signs on the wall that the president might not pick the abrasive Gachagua as his running mate in 2027 polls.

The Meru leaders are convinced that the cool headed Kindiki is the right person for the job, otherwise Ruto might go for an equally sober person, Mudavadi, who is from Western Kenya.

This is not the first time Kindiki is positioning himself to be the Mt Kenya kingpin.

It is to be recalled that in 2015, the then senate majority leader, Kindiki, was installed as a Njuri Ncheke elder in a ceremony punctuated by political undertones.

The ceremony was part of a plan to hoist him onto a more prominent role, as the spokesman of the region’s communities.

The Njuri Ncheke council of elders’ secretary-general, Phares Ruteere, was quoted saying Kindiki would be elevated to be the Meru spokesman.

He was installed as a NjuriNcheke elder, and official spokesman of the Meru community at Coikariga in Tharaka Nithi county.

In conspicuous attendance were the then cabinet secretary Jacob Kaimenyi and former Head of Civil Service and Cabinet Secretary Francis Muthaura.

The installation was unusual, in that it was held in Tharaka Nithi county away from the traditional Njuri Ncheke Shrine at Nchiru in Tigania West in Meru county.


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