- As a party leader, he reiterated that he will not be left out of the process as he represents the interests of the Mt Kenya community.
- He cautioned the President not to take heed to the people around him who are keen to ensure political divisions linger.
Former Murang’a governor Mwangi wa Iria has said the bipartisan dialogue called for by President William Ruto should focus on shared prosperity.
Wa Iria has said the engagement should go beyond the last general elections, IEBC and focus on matters pressing Kenyans the most.
He said some Kenyans have for a long time felt excluded which sparks conflicts after every general election.
While hailing President Ruto for calling for the bipartisan dialogue, Wa Iria said the country has a chance to deal with the issues that have been bedeviling the country for ages and come up with lasting solutions.
He said both Ruto and Azimio la Umoja Coalition leader Raila Odinga should ensure they are remembered for instituting long-term reconciliation measures that will heal the country into the future.
“Whatever the President started two days ago, we embrace it as Mt Kenya people but there have been numerous attempts to reconcile the nation in the past and they were all foiled by divisiveness," he said.
Wa Iria, also Usawa Kwa Wote party leader, said the process should not be limited to a few leaders and should take a multi-sectorial approach by including the clergy, political parties, civil societies and eminent persons to ensure it comes up with sustainable solutions.
As a party leader, he reiterated that he will not be left out of the process as he represents the interests of the Mt Kenya community.
“This process must be inclusive. We can’t have three people deciding the direction our nation is going to take. If you don’t invite me for the first meeting, I’ll find my way there," he said.
He said last year, he experienced first-hand the issues facing IEBC after he was ‘unfairly’ denied a chance to vie for the presidency over claims that he did not meet the threshold and he should be on the table when solutions to the issues facing the country are debated.
He noted that it is time to ensure the promises that were made to Kenyans during the campaigns are implemented and that the debate on the cost of living should take centre stage.
He cautioned the President not to take heed to the people around him who are keen to ensure political divisions linger.
Such leaders, he said, reap from divisions and do not have the interests of the country at heart while others are using them to propel succession politics.
But with the Ruto administration in its infancy, it is upon the president to ensure it takes root by fostering reconciliation among Kenyans, he said.
He urged both Ruto and Raila to ‘call their people to order’ saying that dialogue will not be achieved with hardliners from both sides making aggravating statements.
“We want to see Ruto and Raila work together. This can’t happen if there are people saying Ruto is an illegitimate President or dismissing Raila or the former head of state Uhuru Kenyatta," he said.
“It is shocking that people were celebrating while our country was going to the dogs. Hats off to Ruto and Raila for initiating this process. What they have done is historic."
He proposed the signing of a national accord by the end of the process that will avert post elections conflicts in the future and foster unity.
The former governor also urged the region to support the dialogue process and desist from attacking each other over political affiliations.
Wa Iria said while the warring parties have ‘closed ranks’ nationally, divisions still run deep in Mt Kenya region as locals personalise their political interests.
“Those thriving in divisions have no choice but to support the process. They forget that they may not be in government in the future and should be protecting the national cake. They are threatened by the entry of Raila and think their share of the cake will be taken," he said.
Last week, Wa Iria condemned the invasion of the Kenyatta family-owned Northlands City farm and urged community members to stop turning against each other.