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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Is President Uhuru losing Meru support ahead 2017?

Our Reporter

Last year ended in colour and pomp. Radio and television stations that used to report indecorous happenings and mudslinging from leaders almost went mute as the unfolding political events in Meru region unfolded. That there is unity of purpose in Meru county is the message that greeted the voters and residents.
In the wake of the rising Meru rebellion, Uhuru Kenyatta handlers have planned that the Head of State visits the area to address a number of concerns likely to cost him his second bid to the throne.
After the general elections of 2013, two camps each led by elected former protagonists stood on peripheral positions and threw political stones at one another and everything in the county went haywire and almost at standstill. The populace did not dance to their music but this saw the two sides and the entire community divided politically down the middle. The casualty of the circumstances was development and outright squander of public resources was said to be the order of the day but what else would one expect in the eventual protractions? As the old adage goes, divided we fall but together we stand!
One of the camps was led by Meru Senator Kiraitu Murungi deputised by Governor Peter Munya while the other wing was in the close arm of Igembe South MP and also chair of the Ameru Parliamentary Group, Mithika Linturi. Senator Kiraitu, though known to ideologically and logistically in full support of the governor, was at times in mid road as often as he seemed uncomfortable with the happening in a county he is seen to be the senior most of all. Doubling both as a friend and an elder to the MPs, at the same time dining and wining with the man he and the public court declared as a necessary evil, the senator found himself being isolated in many decision making by the same governor as often as always. 
The man has had two years longer than usual! Governor Munya had on his side majority of the county assembly members while Mithika Linturi had all MP and the public one side. The leaders are no longer fighting today, setting a different scenario politically, so to speak.
The national government has thus to redefine its stand in the current circumstances. Talk within the region is that political brokers and mercenaries will have to be redeployed elsewhere as the Meru ground is no longer ripe for their antics. All they can do for the government is espionage and advice if they still are relied upon, a source within the Meru political class told Weekly Citizen.
It is imperative to note however that during the 2013 election campaigns, Uhuru spent days and nights in Meru wooing people to support his party TNA candidates against APK’s candidates. It is said, money, time and energy went into the battle ground especially between those interested in senator’s position. However, it is instrumental to note that a villager was clothed and funded by APK team and made to fight a bruising battle with Linturi for Igembe South seat leaving scores injured and the entire counties completely a divided house. Linturi’s sin was that he supported a ‘foreign’ party headed by an outsider which many in the village now seem to believe it is the behaviour of the people around the presidency.
In circumstances likely to forester Kiraitu’s initial sentiments, Uhuru has been in power for close to two years now. Irrespective of the major support Ameru people gave him, Uhuru is accused of not setting foot in the county even a single day let alone thank them for rallying behind him almost man to man, getting close to 89pc  of the Ameru registered votes against his closest rival Raila Odinga of Cord.
Word on the ground has it that the president closed all doors against the Meru elected leaders and decided to deal with political brokers who camouflage as Njuri Ncheke elders. To complicate matters worse, the president and his advisers are accused of deciding to give the county a blind eye in development to portray the elected leaders as underperforming before the public. Political analysts say the general public mood in Meru county is that all Meru leaders should unite and give the Ameru people an identity so that they will not continue to be taken for granted like it happened with TNA and its leaders.
Importantly funny to note is also the fact that in spite of TNA being associated with the twice First Family, it robbed the wretched of the poor in Meru county way back before getting to power. During the party nominations in early 2013, Meru county TNA nominations were rated the best nationally. When all other areas were experiencing chaos, observers were trooping to Meru TNA county offices to witness what charm was used to make the day a success. By midnight of the nomination day, results were being announced and interim certificates issued to the winners without the slightest of any incident. Poor to mention, the people who made this major success for the party were never paid as promised. When we sought intervention, people who were at the head office were transferred to State House where we could not find them. The entire episode has remained a political talk in the region hence the circumstances the party finds itself engulfed in an otherwise friendly ground.
Word doing rounds has it that was out and meant to destabilise Meru region.
Driven by the behaviour of Jubilee administration headed by Uhuru and his deputy William Ruto, local leaders are back to the drawing board. Ameru leaders have according to sources now decided to unite together, forget the past and work as a team to develop the Meru county. Analysts will concur that over the past two months, the unfolding scenario has shown teamwork that is unlikely to break this time round. A desert from the past practices, the governor, the senator, the MPs and the MCAs all speak in one voice. “We need to give Meru people an identity,” many are heard to say.
After the government was constituted, Meru MP led by Linturi protested that Meru people were left out in any plum positions given out. They, according to State House mandarins, wanted to meet president Uhuru but his handlers decided to give them a complete blind eye. Funny enough, this happened again when miraa was banned in most markets in Europe. The president is said never to have found any need to see or even address this menace that even today seems to destroy a society. Word has it that out of this frustration, cabinet secretary Anne Waiguru impeachment motion was conceived which only a cropper became when Meru Council of Elders intervened in its full charm to armtwisedt Linturi to drop it, though many other unauthenticated theories exist.
After president Uhuru and his handlers realised that the Ameru leaders were heaping political demands on them, they resorted into using alternative leadership channels in the county to access the people. A case in the book was at Nciiru Njuri Ncheke shrine on October 4, last year when a meeting was organised with the support of State House through some elders who had made the executive believe that it was well to do away with the elected members. The belief that the president or his people had sponsored the meeting with the exclusion of Meru leaders came from the message delivered from those who said he had sent them. Senate majority leader Kithure Kindiki was to be the man of the moment. A ground was prepared for him to come to stamp authority upon the people, “coming with the president’s message to the people of Meru”. In his entourage was Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichung’wa and his Maara counterpart Kareke Mbiuki. “The president has sent me to tell you people of Meru that after his 10 years in office, William Ruto will have 10 years and then a Mmeru. Why don’t we just say that Mmeru will be Kithure Kindiki!” this was the message from Ichung’wa.
“Here in Meru, I am happy that the governor and MCA are together, but there is a big problem in your county, where are your MPs? There is a big problem. I am ready to offer remedial measures to your leaders for free on how to work together,” said Kareke. He went on to directly attack the Meru senator Kiraitu and dared him to continue threatening the Jubilee administration.
The meeting ended in a huff after Kiraitu metaphorically rubbished the planning and execution of the meeting and its agenda and told off those who had thought that Meru was a free space for anyone to come and dump his or her political burden. He categorically told the team to mind their electorates and leave Meru to sort out their issues.
Those out to counter Jubilee furore in the area are of the opinion that with unity on the ground, the beneficiary will be the common man and woman as all the energy, otherwise used to fight or defend one another will be channelled to constructive issues. To them, the biggest casualty will be political brokers who would otherwise be earning merely because leaders are at war. Also to lose will be the political mercenaries who have been cheating the executive that they have the charms to dislodge the elected leaders and leave the people in support of executive blindly.
The scheme is to have TNA the biggest loser at the defining moment. If all the leaders agree to unite under a local party like APK “mbus” the rest will be lullabies. President Uhuru in his 2017 bid will get Ameru votes but will be denied MPs, senator, governor and MCAs leaving him without the majority many have been calling tyranny of numbers as his 2022 succession begins incase he happens to win his 2017 second term bid.
It is said the current happenings in the region have put into consideration the ICC case hanging deputy Ruto now that Uhuru has a temporary reprieve in view of the fact that the prosecution has threatened to appeal against the judges ruling over Uhuru’s case.