WHY NOT ME?

Mt Kenya Foundation has no influence, says Wa Iria

Governor questions why the group is disregarding presidential aspirants from the region like him.

In Summary
  • He dismissed the foundation's meetings with a section of presidential aspirants, saying it comprises elders who think they can influence elections.
  • The foundation, made up of tycoons from the region, met with ODM leader Raila Odinga two weeks ago and One Kenya Alliance leaders last Thursday
Murang'a governor Mwangi wa Iria at Ihura stadium on Monday.
Murang'a governor Mwangi wa Iria at Ihura stadium on Monday.
Image: Alice Waithera

Murang'a Governor Mwangi wa Iria says Mt Kenya Foundation will have no impact on the next general election.

He dismissed the foundation's meetings with a section of presidential aspirants, saying it comprises elders who think they can influence elections.

The governor, who has announced his presidential bid, on Monday questioned why the foundation chaired by Equity Bank chairman Peter Munga has been meeting aspirants from other regions while disregarding those from the Mt Kenya region.

"They have seen my posters but they do not think I am a good enough candidate to invite to their interviews. They did the same when I vied for the governorship in 2013 and 2017 and I defeated them," he said.

He said Mt Kenya residents did not send the foundation to vet aspirants on their behalf and are capable of making their own decisions.

"I do not respect that forum and I can openly support those saying that the presidency will be given by Kenyans. Kenya is not their private company. Those who are attending the interviews should be employed in their companies."

The foundation, made up of tycoons from the region, met with ODM leader Raila Odinga two weeks ago and One Kenya Alliance leaders last Thursday where they announced that that the region had no favourite presidential candidate.

The foundation is planning another meeting in Limuru to announce who they will support for the Presidency. But Wa Iria said what the foundation is doing is a scam as members will have limited influence on the direction the region will take politically.

"They are just a bunch of elders who call aspirants one after the other and ask them to come with a tie and a suit and decide if they like them enough to support them. That is what you do when interviewing youths to employ," the governor said.

Wa Iria said such "shenanigans" have been overtaken by events and all presidential candidates are well capable of seeking their own votes.

He said he will not be party to such forums and would not attend the meetings even if they invite him as the foundation's aim is to belittle aspirants from the region.

The governor spoke at Ihura Stadium while issuing bursary cheques to over 3,000 students under the Nyota Zetu scholarship programme.

The county government sponsors over 1,000 students from disadvantaged families each year. The programme prioritises the neediest in the community in a bid to bridge the gap between the rich and poor.

With the short holidays, the governor said many parents were at a loss on how to raise fees for the new term, especially with the hard economic times occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic.

"Our parents do not have to worry because we have ensured that their children are in school regardless of their backgrounds," the governor said, adding that it is through education that poor families can be uplifted economically.