President Uhuru Kenyatta will today kick off his tour of the Central Kenya region as part of efforts to sell his pet project, the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI), amid deep divisions among the political-class.
In a press briefing on Friday morning, State House Spokesperson Kanze Dena Mararo revealed that the president will be in the Mount Kenya region for four days.
Kahawa Tungu understands that the Head of State will today meet the region’s Members of County Assembly (MCAs) and MPs at Sagana State Lodge in Nyeri County before tomorrow’s much-anticipated convention.
In the invite-only meeting, leaders allied to Deputy President William Ruto have been kept out.
During his visit, Ms Mararo said, the Head of State will launch several complete National Government development projects and inspect ongoing Programmes.
Besides the BBI, the president will engage the local leadership on other programmes including the Big 4 Agenda, Curriculum Reforms and the fight against Covid-19 among others.
“The President’s engagements during the 4-day working visit have been planned in strict compliance with the National Covid-19 Containment Protocols as published by the Ministry of Health, ” said Ms Mararo.
“The closed-door consultative meeting whose main agenda is development will be open to all invited Central Kenya leaders.”
Yesterday, 41 lawmakers from the region, who missed on the president’s list of invited guests, voiced their concerns on matters they would want addressed during the forum.
Notably, the defiant lawmakers claimed that the president’s handshake partner Raila Odinga is “unsellable” in the region, further warning the President against imposing him or any other candidate as the region’s favourite ahead of the 2022 race to State House.
“Raila Odinga Your Excellency, For 8 years, between 2011 and 2018, you consistently and persistently cautioned us that Raila Odinga was Kenya’s foremost problem, and pleaded with us to send him home for the country to move forward. You were only emphasizing what our people already knew, taking into account his history In the use of violence and ethnic divisions as a means to achieve political power.
“As a result, he is an existential threat to the economy and national unity. We must be direct and truthful with you: We cannot sell Raila Odinga in our region or, indeed, any other imposed presidential candidate. You blame the leaders and people of the Mt. Kenya region for being reluctant to accept the Handshake and the BBI. It is not their fault. The successful effort you made to persuade the people and render Raila Odinga unacceptable in Mt. Kenya cannot be undone in your lifetime, ” the letter reads.
The leaders accused the President of having betrayed his deputy who he had promised to support during the 2013 and 2017 Presidential elections.
“The new political turn in the conduct and practice of politics has, therefore, left us disappointed and outraged. Our people are honourable people, whose lives and livelihoods are based on honesty and trust. Many are devoted Christians.
“As entrepreneurs and businesspeople, our people’s lives depend on trust and honesty. The new political agenda propounded by a faction publicly allied to you, which seeks to normalize treachery, dishonesty, deceit and betrayal as defining traits of our region and people is tragic, dangerous and unacceptable. We are honourable people, and we went it to be known always, in word and deed, that we stand for honour, honesty, integrity and trust in all of our dealings, ” the letter adds.
On matters economy, the MPs claimed that the president has done nothing to boast about, especially in the Mount Kenya region when compared to former President Mwai Kibaki’s track record.