'If Jesus had a conversation with a mad man...who are you not to have a conversation with other Kenyans?... how can you tell us to build bridges and you want to demolish others. Gagging people should stop'
Former Agriculture CS Mwangi Kiunjuri has launched a scathing attack on President Uhuru Kenyatta, accusing the head of state of insincerity in his push for national unity.
In a brazen criticism of the President since his sacking on January 14, Kiunjuri said Uhuru was sacrificing some politicians in the process of courting new allies.
The fiery politician was referring to Uhuru's handshake with ODM leader Raila Odinga which has left Deputy President William Ruto and his allies isolated in government.
Kiunjuri spoke in Kiambu on Wednesday where he promised to stick with Ruto.
He said no leader can purport to speak about unity of a country while destroying others in what appeared to be a swipe aimed at the President's Building Bridges Initiative crusade.
“You are demolishing one bridge to build another one and you still need another bridge to get to the other side of the road. That cannot happen because there are no more fools in Kenya,” Kiunjuri said.
He was speaking during a burial in Lari constituency that was attended by Ruto.
Kiunjuri openly took on the President saying, he will not be gagged from speaking his mind just because he supports the DP.
"Wacha watu wazungumuze (let people speak). If Jesus had a conversation with a mad man...who are you not to have a conversation with other Kenyans?... how can you tell us to build bridges and you want to demolish others," he said.
"Deputy President, I can assure you that you will have one general to the end. If you end up in Opposition we shall be together. If you form the next government, we shall be there."
“Kupimiwa hewa iwachwe (gagging people should stop).
It was Kiunjuri's first public appearance together with the DP following his sacking from the Cabinet.
In a bare-knuckle attack, the former Laikipia East MP said the President must be ready to handover power in 2022 when his term ends and honour a political pact with Ruto as well.
“Mzee Kenyatta did not finish his work. Retired presidents Moi and Kibaki also did not finish what they wanted to do for the country. Uhuru should know that he will not finish his work and that is why Ruto is preparing to take over the mantle to run the country for 10 years,” he said.
Kiunjuri, a close ally of the DP, used the occasion to show his unwavering support for Ruto insisting he was ready to take a bullet for him.
Kiunjuri is said to be angling to take over the Mt Kenya kingship from Uhuru when his term ends in 2022. The former CS said Ruto was his personal friend and dependable ally.
“William Ruto will remain my friend to the last date. Deputy President, I can assure you one thing, you have a general to the end,” he said.
Kiunjuri's sacking was linked to his closeness with the DP and his relentless campaigns which critics said were geared towards toppling Uhuru as the de facto political leader of Mt Kenya region.
Politicians and analysts believe Kiunjuri was positioning himself to be region's point-man after Uhuru's exit and remain a leading favourite to become Ruto's running mate in 2020.
On Thursday, political analyst Felix Odhiambo told the Star the former CS would be a thorn in Uhuru's flesh in the coming days.
“That Kiunjuri can come out guns blazing to make a bold point and attack the President's unity efforts shows a bitter man ready for anything to prove a point against Uhuru,” Odhiambo said.
He said the ex-CS was raring for a political fight with the President in the battle for the post-Uhuru succession.
“If there is one man you cannot rule out in the Uhuru succession process then it is Kiunjuri,” he said adding that the former lawmaker is a fearless and bold politician who likes speaking his mind.
But nominated MP Maina Kamanda said Kiunjuri was attacking the President while being “cheated” that he will be made Ruto's running mate in 2022.
“He will not even be a governor in the next elections leave alone a deputy president. He is not a threat because he even can’t win an election as MP as we speak now,” Kamanda, a close ally of the President, said.
The former Starehe MP said Kiunjuri will be irrelevant in the political scene in the next two months.
“In Mt Kenya region, he will never be among the names that will be calling the shots. He is a non-starter who is following a group that is just taking him for a ride,” Kamanda said.
The MP warned Kiunjuri against insulting Uhuru saying the President almost saved him from political oblivion by appointing him to the Cabinet.
"He is just a joke. Who told him that as a community we are looking for number two,” Kamanda said.
Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria, another Ruto ally, blamed the President of blindly sacrificing his Kikuyu community.
While the President was aware that the Kikuyu community does not have enough constituencies to benefit from a parliamentary system, he was still supporting calls for a change of the governance structure, Kuria said.
"There is no reason why you should be given something that benefits you and you forget the future of your children. There is no price that is big enough for you to sell your people," Kuria said.
Uhuru is backing the BBI campaign that seeks to reintroduce the position of a prime minister. Kuria said such a post will not benefit the Kikuyu community.
Political analyst Joseph Mutua said Kiunjuri is pushing the Deputy President’s 2022 agenda judging from his remarks.
“He is probably thinking that if he plays his cards well, the Deputy President might pick him as his running mate,” Mutua said.
He said Kiunjuri appears to have already made up his mind that the President has already ditched Ruto.
“That is why he has no kind words for the President and is even portraying him in a bad light in his Kiambu backyard,” Mutua said.
edited by peter obuya