Jubilee MPs tell off Kabogo over anti-Ruto talk
Posted by African Press International on June 9, 2016
JOHN NJAGI -1 | Alhamisi, Juni 9, 2016
A group of Jubilee MPs on Wednesday strongly criticised Kiambu Governor William Kabogo over remarks that Mt Kenya voters will not automatically back Deputy President William Ruto for President in 2022.
The MPs told the governor he has no authority to speak on behalf of the region and should leave national politics to the President and his deputy.
“Since when did Mr Kabogo become the spokesman for the people and leaders of Mt Kenya? As a region, we will support Mr Ruto for the presidency when President Kenyatta retires in 2022,” Starehe MP Maina Kamanda told journalists.
Mr Kabogo, reportedly eyeing the Deputy President’s seat in 2022, told a gathering at Muiri Coffee Estate in Kiambu that Mt Kenya voters would disregard a pre-election deal between the two Jubilee leaders. He said they would go back to the drawing board and discuss the issue as it was not a must that the agreement be honoured.
“President Kenyatta will be elected for another five-year term, and there is someone we promised a seat, but we will have to sit down again and discuss it because we will not give it out just like that. No. Let us not be counted like goats because we have votes and they must be respected,” said the governor on Tuesday.
ROCK JUBILEE UNITY
His utterances are likely to rock Jubilee’s unity as President Kenyatta’s victory in 2013 was largely due to overwhelming support from Mr Ruto’s Rift Valley base.
However, the Jubilee lawmakers, who included Irungu Kang’ata (Kiharu), Benson Mutura (Makadara) and Kiragu Chege (Limuru), who called a press conference at Parliament Buildings, Nairobi, dismissed Mr Kabogo’s remarks.
Mr Kang’ata said Mr Ruto was unlike other candidates who have sought the region’s support in the past. He said the Deputy President had made inroads by supporting development projects and had endeared himself to the voters.
“We take Mr Ruto as our own because, unlike other candidates who have waited for endorsement by the region’s kingpins, Mr Ruto has visited Mt Kenya several times and is close to the people,” said the MP.
He said some candidates had become close to then President Mwai Kibaki in the hope he would ask voters to endorse them but never set foot in the region.
In Kiambu, leaders also disowned their governor over his remarks.
MPs Kimani Ichung’wa (Kikuyu), Alice N’gan’ga (Thika Town), and Jude Njomo (Kiambu Town), TNA county chairman William Josiah and Ngewa Ward Rep Karungo wa Than’gwa described the comments as reckless and uncalled for.
Mr Ichung’wa said Mt Kenya voters knew better than the pursuit of egoistic and chauvinistic agenda.
“As a people, we teamed up with William Ruto to build a united nation and we will pursue that course relentlessly. We shall support Ruto just as he has supported and defended Uhuru. I will encourage him to continue engaging with the people in 2022,” Mr Ichun’gwa said.
Ms Ng’an’ga said: “The governor cannot purport to speak for the people of Mount Kenya. We the people of Mount Kenya have decided and he should leave the Deputy President alone.”
Mr Njomo said Mt Kenya was not answerable to the governor and that he was not qualified or a prophet to foresee what will happen in 2022.
Mr Josiah said Mr Kabogo’s remarks should not be interpreted to mean he was speaking for the people of Kiambu or the party position. He said the region was solidly behind Mr Ruto.
He said Kiambu and Mount Kenya regions have one spokesperson, President Kenyatta, and talk from any other quarters should be ignored.
Mr Than’gwa, a member of the Mt Kenya MCAs caucus, said the remarks displayed the governor’s arrogance and contempt for the wishes of the people.
End/ nation news Kenya