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September 23, 2018

The Tanga Tanga squad is trouble

Senate majority leader Kipchumba Murkomen and kikuyu MP Kimani Ichung'wa. / FILE
Senate majority leader Kipchumba Murkomen and kikuyu MP Kimani Ichung'wa. / FILE

Last weekend members of the ‘Tanga Tanga Squad’ were in my constituency. (Tanga Tanga Squad is a group of MPs and senators who move around the country campaigning for Deputy President William Ruto’s 2022 presidential bid). Senator Kipchumba Murkomen and MP Kimani Ichung'wa had come ostensibly for a fundraising at a local church.

However, in reality, they had come to introduce a 2022 Nyeri MP aspirant. They emphasised that this candidate has very cordial relations with Ruto. The DP had thus sent Sh1 million to the church because of it. The two chaps each contributed Sh300,000.

I will not go into the details of what else they said; but it was distasteful. What bowled me over was the sheer impunity of what they were doing. I could not help but ask myself - if these guys have the audacity to disrespect an elected MP like this, in his constituency, when they are not in power, what would they do if they were to ascend to the office they seek? What are their limits?

I was also very disappointed that the DP could be involved in such. Or is it that he did not know that the Sh1 million he had sent his guys with was to be used to undermine an incumbent MP, in his own constituency, from his own party?

But why would the two leaders – and the DP if he was aware – go to such extent? The only thing I have done is insist that we must recognise that Uhuru Kenyatta is President for the next four years, and stop campaigning for his position like it is about to get vacant. I have also insisted that we must first focus all our efforts in securing his legacy, and then we can campaign for whoever will take over from him when the time is right. Finally I have stated that no one can claim to hold Mt Kenya votes before 2022 – including me. The region will vote for whoever serves their interests post-2022, without intimidation. Clearly I made some people very upset with those statements!

I am not worried about someone getting endorsed in 2018 to be elected as MP in 2022. That is four years away and Nyeri people are pretty independent-minded folks. They know what they want and tend to resist strongly external influence when making elective decisions. Plus Nelson Mandela showed us that it is not how many terms you serve in a public office; it is what you do in a particular term, that counts.

So I will not allow the fear of what will happen in 2022 to interfere with what I need to do now. Nationally I will stand firmly behind the President in his efforts to unite Kenya. I will also stand firmly behind the President in his fight against corruption. In Parliament I will introduce and participate in making laws that serve Kenyans, and oversight government effectively. Finally, when the time is right, I will add my voice to the conversation of who I think will be best suited to take over from Uhuru. But only when the time to do that comes.

Locally I will serve Nyeri Town constituents wholeheartedly. I will represent their interests in the National Assembly. I will ensure there are jobs that put food on the table for every person in every home. Every child will go to school, to the highest level they can. The Universal Healthcare pilot programme being rolled out in Nyeri county will have its highest impact in Nyeri Town. I will lobby for national and county government resources to develop our roads, ensure we have water for irrigation, push for ICT development, and ensure that our agricultural products get the best possible returns. Security will be enhanced. And we will domesticate the Big Four to Nyeri’s needs.

Then in 2022 we will let the people decide; at both national and local level.

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