• At no time in the country’s history has the region lacked a clear and strong 'heir apparent' as it does today.
• The region's importance and weight in political equations will depend on its unty. It's divided between Tangatanga supporting William Ruto's presidential bid and Kieleweke that opposes his quest.
Nyeri Senator Ephraim Maina has deplored political divisions in Central region and lack of a strong presidential candidate barely three years to the exit of Uhuru Kenyatta from State House.
During an interview with the Star in Nairobi, the senator said that at no time in the country’s history has the region lacked a clear and strong “heir apparent”, as it does today.
He said on Friday the disunity in the region, pitting the Kieleweke and Tangatanga groupings against each other, means the region will lack a strong voice and thus become irrelevant in political equations and bargains.
The Tangatanga group is allied to Deputy President William Ruto. The DP has declared he wants to succeed Uhuru but Kieleweke is opposed to his bid.
Maina said that since independence, Central has had always one or two strong presidential candidates with a national appeal, and a strong command structure and support on the ground.
He cited Jomo Kenyatta during the struggle for independence, Mwai Kibaki and Kenneth Matiba during the reign of President Daniel Moi.
During Kibaki's tenure, Uhuru was also presented as the region’s leader ready to take the mantle with the exit of Kibaki.
“Today we have a retiring president, yet in Central region, there is no talk of their presidential candidate in 2022. In the past, Central had strong candidates, and even when we had two strong candidates like Kibaki and Matiba, politics did not divide the region, the senator said.
He said Central should “open its eyes” and see what is happening in other regions where there are strong candidates and no serious divisions.
“The people of Central should remember their strength and relevance depend on their unity,” Maina said.
“Anybody negotiating with us will see our importance in our unity. The community has forgotten the wise words of two great leaders — our founding father Mzee Jomo Kenyatta and US President Abraham Lincoln —that a house divided will fall and a house united will stand,” the Senator said.
He said it was unfortunate that Cental has become the theatre of combative politics involving leaders from the same region. The 2022 General Election should not be used as an excuse to divide the region, he said.
Maina urged religious leaders and residents to resist being divided and to denounce any leader who propagates disunity.
(Edited by V. Graham)