• Nominated MP Maina Kamanda says the handshake should not be demonised
•Opposition leader Raila Odinga, he adds, should be respected as a statesman
Leaders should stop negative debate about the merits or demerits of the handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga, nominated MP Maina Kamanda has said.
Kamanda said leaders, especially from Mt Kenya region, should wholeheartedly support the President in his sustained war against corruption. He said people who have plundered public resources have now turned their guns on the handshake, in vain efforts to scuttle the war on corruption.
“Without the handshake, there would be no a country called Kenya today. But Kenyans are forgetful and sometimes they do not notice when the country is headed to the wrong direction," he said
Kamanda spoke on Saturday at Ol Kalou Catholic Church where he was chief guest during the parish's choir competition.
He said those demonising the Uhuru-Raila deal should know it assured them peace and freedom they are enjoying today, adding that Raila should be respected as an elder and statesman who means well for the nation.
He said the opposition leader cannot be wished away given the large following he commands across the country. The legislator said someone who gunners seven million votes while Uhuru with all the government machinery, working day and night gets eight million votes cannot be taken for granted.
In a veiled reference to Deputy President William Ruto, the MP said those abusing the opposition chief should stop because he is not “your age mate. He is not Maina Kamanda’s age mate either. People should stop calling others witches and sorcerers".
He said Uhuru-Raila unity is about the country and has nothing to do with 2022 politics. In an apparent reference to Mt Kenya leaders in the ‘Tanga Tanga’ bandwagon, Kamanda said only President Kenyatta will give the direction the Mt Kenya region will move as he retires from office, just like former President Mwai Kibaki did.
The MP said it is a common knowledge that the country is plagued with corruption from counties to the national level. Central leaders, he said, should eliminate the vice in the region before venturing to politic in others areas. He said politics is local, hence they should first understand the President's desire for the region before going to shout out there.
War on corruption, he said, should not be politicised or made to appear like it is war against a certain community or region. Kamanda said former Nairobi Town Clerk John Gakuo, was taken to prison on allegations of corruption, though he was innocent. The People of Nyandarua, where he came from, did not rise to say their son is being persecuted, rather allowed the law to take its cause.
In the recent past, Ruto and his supporters have said the war on corruption targets the DP, and lacks in integrity. Kamanda said the DP should leave the investigating authorities to do their work.
“If you know the government is fighting corruption, you should let matters be investigated. Nobody said you are a thief. Instead of talking too much, we should fight corruption everywhere. Speak against corruption everywhere," he said
Kamanda was accompanied by Nyandarua Woman Representative Faith Gitau, Ol Kalou MP David Kiaraho and 2017 gubernatorial contestant Moses Kiarie.