Legislators from the Mount Kenya region allied to Deputy President William Ruto have listed their demands ahead of supporting his presidential bid in 2022.
The lawmakers held a series of meetings at the Karen home of Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua. The meetings happened on Friday, April 16, and Saturday, April 17, 2021.
Gachagua revealed that the agenda of the meeting was dominated by the political and economic benefit of DP Ruto's presidency to their region.
The legislators were drawn from 11 counties. 48 legislators attended the meetings in person while 12 attended virtually.
“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 a local daily.
Leaders heading the talks include; Meru Senator Mithika Linturi, MPs 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 stated that the economic team was tasked with finding out ways of reviving the economy of the region which they in January described as "limping and groaning" in a letter to President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Ichung'wa noted that the talks were meant to make a formal pact with DP Ruto who is their preferred 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.
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 afterwards,” Ichung’wa added.
The MPs agreed to settle on positions once the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) process is done and dusted.
The MPs demanded that DP Ruto accept their economic proposals first before the 2022 elections.