Anthony Mwangi and Kirera Mwangi @PeopleDailyKe
Mt Kenya region legislators have uncharacteristically complained that President Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration has given the region a raw deal in allocation of resources.
The lawmakers of the vote-rich region which is Uhuru’s bedrock vowed to be bolder in demanding more projects “commensurate with the taxes the region pays.”
They said they were under pressure from the electorate who are not seeing the implementation of projects they were promised in the 2017 election campaigns.
Speaking after a one-day closed-door meeting at Enashipai Resort in Naivasha attended by more than 70 Members of the National Assembly and senators from the region’s 10 counties, the legislators resolved to meet the President to discuss their grievances. The meeting could take place as early as Thursday, according to sources.
An MP who was at the meeting admitted that all was not well in the Jubilee Party, claiming the top leadership had shifted the agenda after last year’s election.
The MP, who declined to be named, said during the campaigns, they promised their supporters development projects, most of which are yet to be implemented.
“The President has instead suspended all the development projects in this financial year and the electorate is turning against us,” said the legislator.
The MP noted that in last year’s election, 10 Mt Kenya counties contributed five million of the eight million votes the President garnered.
Another source at the meeting told People Daily that attempts to introduce the succession issue at the meeting was dismissed by most leaders.
“We stated that the meeting was about development and other shenanigans should not be introduced,” said the MP who asked not to be named. He revealed that an attempt by Murang’a Senator Irungu Kang’ata to introduce the succession issue elicited sharp reactions.
Kang’ata had urged the MPs to consider selling the idea that Uhuru will still be too young to retire in 2022 and hence the need to amend the Constitution to make him Prime minister. Kang’ata confirmed that he had broached the matter.
“There was a lot that we discussed. It was strictly development. Yes it’s true I tried to introduce the matter,” Kang’ata said. A suggestion to amend the Constitution to make Uhuru prime minister was one of the items on the agenda.
The suggestion to make Uhuru a premier was first floated by Central Organisation of Trade Unions secretary General Francis Atwoli during Labour Day Celebrations in May.
ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru, Chief Administrative Secretaries Rachael Shebesh, Nelson Gaichuchie and Winnie Guchu attended the meeting but we were unable to establish what role they played even as other sources indicated they had been sent by the Executive.
The meeting co-chaired by Kipipiri MP Amos Kimunya and Nominated MP Cecily Mbarire brought together lawmakers from Kiambu, Kirinyaga, Murang’a, Nyeri, Nyandarua, Embu, Meru and Tharaka Nithi counties. There were also MPs from Nairobi, Nakuru and Laikipia counties.
According to a source, the MPs will seek an appointment with the President on Thursday in Nyeri, where he is scheduled to open the refurbished Karatina Open Air Market, to hand to him the memorandum of the resolutions passed yesterday.
After the meeting, the leaders issued a seven-point resolutions noting that the region contributes 60 per cent to the GDP yet only 20 per cent is ploughed back to the residents.
Big Four Agenda
Addressing the press after the meeting, Mbarire said they were fully behind Uhuru’s Big Four agenda but had identified development priorities specific to region, with regard to water, roads, electricity and agriculture.
“We have developed a detailed development matrix that we will forward to the President for implementation and Mt Kenya region must claim its rightful share of development in the country, within the remaining four years of this current administration,” she said.