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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Ruto’s Sh50 million cash money rocks Meru politics

The secret power games between senate majority leader Kithure Kindiki and Igembe South MP Mithika Linturi took a dramatic turn after Linturi was kicked out as the region’s parlimentary group chairman.
Following the coup, tension is high in the region as trouble looms with supremacy wars now threatening to tear apart the leadership of the county.
The Kindiki-Kithure war exploded following the recent elections that saw new officials of the Njuri Ncheke put in office. It is said deputy president  William Ruto’s camp facilitated a cool Sh50 million to have Kindiki control council of elders.
 The ouster of the elders has now seen two camps emerge and take their differences to the corridors of parliament. One group is allied to Kindiki and the other to Linturi. Whereas the Kindiki camp enjoys URP backing, the Linturi one has support of TNA. TNA sympathisers are concerned that Ruto is out to control Meru politics which to them is supposerd to be in their hands. They claim TNA has left Narok politics in URP control and the same should be done to regions around Mount Kenya.
In an effort to checkmate Kindiki,TNA is reaching out to  Kiraitu Murungi to play a key role in Jubilee Alliance.
Using the Sh50m, six of Meru county’s 11 MPs staged a behind-the-scene’s coup and ousted Linturi as the region’s PGC chairman and replaced him with Imenti South’s Kathuri Murungi.
Sources claim that the ousted Njuri Ncheke officials led by its long serving secretary general Phares Ruteere had warmed up to Kindiki, who is eyeing the deputy president’s position in 2022.
The new line-up of the PG now has Murungi as the chairman, Igembe North MP Joseph M’Eruaki as the secretary, Tigania West MP David Kariithi as the new treasurer replacing Tigania East MP Mpuri Aburi.
Apart from the three new officials, others who participated in the coup were Rahim Dawood  of Imenti North, Kubai Iringo, Igembe Central and Aburi.
Those behind the new lineup are said to have put emphasis on regional and party affiliation balance. Murungi and M’Eruaki are TNA MPs while Aburi and Iringo are ODM while Dawood was elected on an Alliance Party of Kenya ticket.
 Linturi has the support of Murungi, women representative Florence Kajuju, Central Imenti’s Gideon Mwiti and Buuri MP Boniface Gatobu.
There has been fear Ruto wants to use the vote rich upper Eastern with an eye on the 2022 elections. He is perfecting the art of divide and rule to break the unity in Meru as he has done in Kipsigis politics where various camps are squaring it out.
Those fighting Linturi link the Anne Waiguru impeachment saga which he dropped after fooling MPs. Linturi was  later declared not fit to to hold any office at the Naivasha Jubilee PG retreat. The no confidence motion he had proposed on Waiguru and another he has proposed to give immunity to Ruto from prosecution by the International Criminal Court all were dismissed.
That Linturi has support of State House is no secret. As the PG chairman he led Meru leaders to meet Uhuru Kenyatta recently. Ten MPs, Senator Murungi and Governor Peter Munya visited Uhuru. Murungi is said to have acted the leader of the delegation with Linturi’s blessings to counter Kindiki.
Meru governor Peter Munya has also found himself sucked into the Kindiki-Linturi wars. The faction secretary general Phares Rutere accused the governor of trying to divide the council for his political gains.  He says those who gathered at the Nchiru Shrine on to elect new leaders are officials of the county office.
He dismissed the election of Linus Kathera as the council’s chairman, Josphat Murangiri, secretary-general, Stephen Kiraithe, treasurer and Joseph Muturia, director of culture, as a scam.