CENTRAL KENYA POLITICS

Why Murang'a will stick with Ruto ahead of 2022

Come 2022, there is almost zero chance there will be a Kikuyu President and it is not known when they will ever get it

In Summary

• There has been an open rivalry among the three regions of Mt Kenya — Murang’a, Kiambu and Nyeri.

• While the two brothers — Kiambu and Nyeri — have had their change to occupy the House on the Hill, with the former having it twice, Murang’a hasn’t, and he is desperate.

Deputy President William Ruto with other leaders at St Mary's Catholic Church Murang'a, Kiharu, Murang'a County on August 4, 2019.
Deputy President William Ruto with other leaders at St Mary's Catholic Church Murang'a, Kiharu, Murang'a County on August 4, 2019.
Image: DPPS

If there is one region that Deputy President William Ruto has pitched camp in Central Kenya for long, it has to be Murang’a.

He was back last weekend to attend three different events.

Consequently, the key luminaries in the so-called Tangatanga faction of the ruling Jubilee Party — which is pro-Ruto – happen to be from the Murang’a region. They are Kandara MP Alice Wahome, who heads the Tangatanga’s women faction Inua Mama, Ndindi Nyoro (Kiharu) and Maragua’s Mary Waithira.

 
 

Ruto has transversed all but one of the seven constituencies, which is Kangema, represented by Muturi Kigano. Not that Ruto has not made attempts though.

 

And as soon as they were elected, Ruto tried to court Mathioya MP Peter Kihara, Murang’a Senator Irungu Kang’ata, Kigumo’s Ruth Mwaniki and he invited them at his Karen office.

Mathioya MP Peter Kihara, Murang’a Senator Irungu Kang’ata, Kigumo MP Ruth Mwaniki and DP William Ruto after a meeting at his Karen office
Mathioya MP Peter Kihara, Murang’a Senator Irungu Kang’ata, Kigumo MP Ruth Mwaniki and DP William Ruto after a meeting at his Karen office
Image: COURTESY

Governor Mwangi Wairia is a close ally of the Deputy President, although he has been silent in the recent past.

There is a reason why both the DP and the leadership of Murang’a think a working relationship is good for them pre- and post-2022.

There has been an open rivalry among the three regions of Mt Kenya — Murang’a, Kiambu and Nyeri.

While the two brothers — Kiambu and Nyeri — have had their change to occupy the House on the Hill, with the former having it twice, Murang’a hasn’t, and he is desperate.

In fact, Murang’a hasn’t had an opportunity to even have the position of vice president, while Kiambu and Nyeri have had under Josephat Karanja and Mwai Kibaki respectively.

 
 
 

Murang’a feels this is their time.  Actually, there is the legendary and mythical ‘Chania River’ border in regards to the national leadership.

 

It developed during Founding President Jomo Kenyatta’s era and it implied that the presidency will never cross Chania River and head to the northern part of the Kikuyuland. It did in 2002 and went to Nyeri.

Come 2022, there is almost zero chance there will be a Kikuyu President and it is not known when they will ever get it. In this regard, their expectation is to at least have a deputy from the region. In fact, Senator Kang’ata is on record urging the DP in one of the many rallies to pick Murang'a Governor Mwangi Wa Iria as his running mate in 2022.

"It is now the turn of Murang'a to produce such a leader. We have waited for long and time is ripe for us. Murang'a is prepared for the challenge," Kang’ata said in the presence of Wairia at Gaichanjiru High School in Kandara constituency.

In his response, Ruto said he has heard, and “I will see”.

Other than Meru senator Kindiki Kithure and Agriculture CS Mwangi Kiunjuri fro Laikipia, Wairia is among those being mentioned as potential deputies for Ruto.

And with the BBI, teh President can appont a Prime Mionsister.

Against this background, DP Ruto knows Murang’a is desperate to get hold on to power and being the frontrunner, he holds the carrot. With this carrot, he can rally the region to not only split the Central Kenya vote bloc but also add to his tally.

On the other hand, Murang'a leaders see the DP, as  the frontrunner, as their best bet to be close to power. 

With these interests, their ties are only likely to get tighter.