Deputy President William Ruto addresses the Press at his Karen home
Legislators from the Mount Kenya region have drawn a list of demands ahead of supporting Deputy President William Ruto in 2022.
The lawmakers held meetings at the Karen home of Mathira Member of Parliament Rigathi Gachagua on the nights of Friday, April 16, and Saturday, April 17, 2021.
48 legislators attended the meetings in person while 12 attended virtually.
The MPs who hail from 11 counties have formed a team that will conduct negotiations with the DP.
The team comprises 11 representatives from each of the counties.
Speaking to local dailies, Gachagua revealed that the talks were centered around what the region stands to benefit both politically and economically if the DP is elected President.
“We want our region to be guaranteed minimum returns under the Ruto presidency. All agricultural sectors are on their knees and we want him to tell us what he will do to resuscitate them,” Gachagua told People Daily.
The talks will be spearheaded by leaders; Meru Senator Mithika Linturi, Gachagua, Kikuyu’s Kimani Ichung’wa, Alice Wahome (Kandara), and Senator John Kinyua (Laikipia). Other leaders include; Woman Representative Beatrice Nkatha (Tharaka Nithi), Wangui Ngirici (Kirinyaga), Faith Gitau (Nyandarua), and Cecily Mbarire (nominated).
The economic revival team will be chaired by Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro. He will be assisted by MPs John Kiarie (Dagoretti South), Moses Kuria (Gatundu South), George Kariuki (Ndia), John Muchiri (Manyatta) and Senator Susan Kihika (Nakuru).
Gachagua revealed that the economic team is mandated with establishing how the economy of the region will be developed by reviving the coffee industry, dairy farming and the Miraa sector.
Ichung’wa told the publication that the purpose of the talks was to forge a formal agreement with DP Ruto whom they have identified as their Presidential candidate.
“The negotiations will be divided into two parts: Part one is the economic agenda and part two is the political interest, including positions the region should get in the next government,” Ichung’wa stated.
“We agreed to set up two committees with representatives from each county to steer the negotiations, which we intend to be centered around our people’s issues. We want to change the matrix from one of negotiating purely for political positions that benefit a few political leaders to one about the empowerment of our people.
We want an engagement with the candidate on matters of economic recovery and measures he will take to restore our people’s economic power,” he added.
In January 2021, 41 MPs from the Mt Kenya region wrote a letter to President Uhuru Kenyatta where they described the economy if the region as “limping and groaning.”
“You are putting the cart before the horse. We all agreed that Mr. Ruto should first accept our economic proposals for our people before we discuss politics. The Uhuru regime has bankrupted our traders’ economy first,” Nyoro stated.
“Powerful people from Mount Kenya are holding positions yet industries belonging to our people are being closed and importers have been run out of town. We want structures to protect our economy first then we agree on who will safeguard our interests afterward,” Ichung’wa added.
A senator who spoke anonymously to Daily Nation on April 19, revealed that the MPs agreed that DP Ruto either reserve the Deputy President slot for the region or a couple of ministries and parastatals.
Some agreed on the DP slot as a bare minimum but DP Ruto may face an uphill task in settling on a candidate.
They, however, agreed that they will wait for determination on the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) to settle on positions.
The MPs maintained that DP Ruto should agree to their economic proposals first before the 2022 elections.