• Upya movement was unveiled in September.
• During the unveiling, Yatani and Eldas MP Adan Keynan, the leaders said the Upya Movement will unite the region behind one political voice.
Leaders from Northern Kenya under the Upya movement banner were on Thursday hosted by the Mt Kenya Foundation to discuss areas of collaboration.
Led by Treasury CS Ukur Yatani, representing Upya Movement, the leaders lauded President Uhuru Kenyatta for putting the region on the map of national politics, by among other things, making key appointments.
"This meeting between the Mt. Kenya and Northern Kenya communities reminds us of the long, cordial, socio-economic symbiotic ties that existed between the two regions where exchange and trade of livestock, coffee, and tobacco pre-dates independence," Yatani said.
Upya Movement brings together leaders from Garissa, Isiolo, Lamu, Mandera, Marsabit, West Pokot, Samburu, Tana River, Turkana and Wajir counties.
Present at the event were CSs Joe Mucheru (ICT), Sicily Kariuki (Water) and Margaret Kobia (Public Service). Others were legislators from Mt Kenya region and Arid and Semi Arid Lands (ASAL).
Mt Kenya Foundation backed Uhuru and his predecessor Mwai Kibaki in past elections.
It hosted One Kenya Alliance Principals Musalia Mudavadi (ANC), Gideon Moi (Kanu), Moses Wetang’ula (Ford Kenya) and Kalonzo Musyoka (Wiper) to a luncheon on 7 October. The meeting with OKA came one week after the group hosted ODM leader Raila Odinga to a similar event.
Yatani said the meeting was a brave beginning to a brighter future.
"That’s why we need to put aside perceived differences and engage freely and honestly, to build a level of partnership and trust amongst each other that will enable us collectively speak with one voice and articulate a coherent position on economic and political matters to ensure a brighter future for our regions and the country."
Upya movement was unveiled in September.
During the unveiling, Yatani, and Eldas MP Adan Keynan, the leaders said the Upya Movement will unite the region behind one political voice.
On Thursday, Eldas MP Adan Keynan reiterated that Upya will rally behind the presidential candidate being supported by Uhuru.
“We are not here to endorse anyone but we will go with the President’s pick,” he told the gathering.
Mt Kenya Foundation vice chair Titus Ibui said they invited leaders from northern Kenya for a dialogue on 2022 politics. “We want to chart a future together. The diversity should be our strength,” he added.
Ibui further said people from both regions are keen to safeguard the interests of their regions and the country as a whole.
Yatani said leaders from the two regions need to put aside perceived differences and engage freely and honestly to build a level of partnership and trust amongst each other.
He said this will enable them to collectively speak with one voice and articulate a coherent position on economic and political matters to ensure a brighter future for the regions and the country.
“The communities of Northern Kenya have now reached of age, and as integral part of president Uhuru’s government, have decided not to miss out on the ongoing national discourse,” he stated.
The CS said Northern Kenya portends tremendous economic potential; from abundance of land space of almost 70 per cent of Kenya landmass, natural resources endowment including solar and wind power, diverse minerals, huge livestock population among others
“The current political developments remind us of journey this region has travelled from pre-independence to-date from missing out on the making of the independence constitution and other important policy developments like Sessional Paper No. 10 of 1965 that inadvertently marginalised the region through skewed policy pronouncement,” he noted.
Yatani noted that past attempts by leaders of ASAL to get together to discuss issues of mutual concern and collective good failed due to external interference and sometimes intimidation and sabotage which made go back to their marginal roles in the affairs of the country.