• The proposal is a stroke of political genius by Mbarire to endear herself as governor candidate to the Mbeere region where the Speaker comes from
• She is from Runyenjes where Governor Wambora comes from and observers say this is a disadvantage to her
Nominated MP Cecily Mbarire has opened a can of worms in Embu politics with her proposal that William Ruto picks parliamentary Speaker Justin Muturi as his 2022 running mate.
Some political analysts say the proposal is a stroke of political genius by Mbarire to endear herself to the Mbeere region where the Speaker comes from.
The nominated MP is interested in the governor's position.
Analyst Peter Njoka said, "If Ruto picks Muturi as his running mate, the Mbeere will feel that it was Mbarire who proposed their son, hence pay back by giving her their votes in 2022."
Mbarire represented Runyenjes in the 11th Parliament. She made the proposal last weekend in Mbeere North, a constituency previously known as Siakago and which at one time was represented by Muturi.
"She is a great politician who knows how to lobby for positions. She would want her region well represented in the national government," another analyst said.
Other observers think that the proposal is malicious and selfish. Supporters of former Senator Lenny Kivuti told the Star that if Muturi becomes Ruto's running mate, then their man's political star will be dimmed.
Muturi will become the most influential figure from Mbeere and hence divide the area votes to the disadvantage of Kivuti's candidature. Muturi lost the Siakago seat to Kivuti in 2007.
"If he is named a running mate, then Ruto would automatically support Mbarire's bid and Muturi would play a major role in delivering Mbeere votes into Mbarire's basket," they said.
Kivuti is flamboyant and likes traversing the county in a chopper. He vowed to fight for the county's top seat "on earth and in heaven" after he lost a court battle against Governor Martin Wambora.
"I would rather die," he said after losing petition in the Court of Appeal. As if to prove his point, he took the battle to the Supreme Court, where he also lost.
The former senator, a surveyor by profession, Kivuti has started campaigning for the governor's seat.
Observers say it is time for Runyenjes to step down and back aspirants from either Manyatta constituency or any of the two Mbeere constituencies.
It has emerged in past functions that there was an agreement that Runyenjes should produce a governor for 10 years and thereafter back one from either Manyatta or Mbeere for another 10 years.
"It cannot happen that the seat is occupied again by another person from Runyenjes for 10 more years," Mbeti North MCA Peter Muriithi.
Manyatta MP John Muchiri said that all interested aspirants should be allowed to vie for the governor's seat. He said politics is a race where the winner is determined by how fast he/she runs.
However, he said Runyenjes should allow other subcounties to produce a governor.
"One thing I would tell you, and because we have Runyenjes people here, I pray God to guide them because the seat, according to my mind, is either in Manyatta or Mbeere, "Muchiri said.
He urged the individuals who are interested in the seat from Manyatta and Mbeere to hold peaceful meetings.
But some residents say everybody has a right to vie for the governor's seat.
"I believe what matters in politics is not the area or location where one comes from. I think it is the capability and capacity to work for the community and for the betterment of the whole society," one who chose not to be named, said.
Another said, "I absolutely disagree with their sentiments. If there was an agreement, why did we have candidates from both Manyatta, Mbeere North and Mbeere South in the last election?" Besides Kivuti (Mbeere North), there was Kithinji Kiragu (Manyatta) and a Mombasa-based businessman from Mbeere South.
"Speaker Muturi has not commented on the proposal, but some residents think he is not yet ripe for the number two position. Before he becomes the second in power, he should first show how Embu has benefitted from him being the National Assembly Speaker," a youthful resident said.