Mt Kenya tycoons who are part of a team designing President Uhuru Kenyatta’s succession politics and leaders from North Eastern region yesterday closed ranks to rally behind whoever will be picked as the “Handshake” presidential candidate in next year’s general elections.
The Mt Kenya Foundation, chaired by Equity Bank founder Peter Munga, hosted leaders among them Cabinet Secretaries and Chief Administrative Secretaries, lawmakers and opinion leaders from 11 counties to a luncheon at Safari Park Hotel where the two regions agreed to work together politically.
Unity meeting Though the meeting was choreographed as a unity meeting, it was apparent that it was part of efforts to seek support for Uhuru’s preferred successor.
“The people of Mt Kenya region and UPYA movement will walk together during this political dispensation in 2022 and beyond, and will follow the direction President Uhuru will show in the upcoming election,” said the leaders in a statement read by Lamu Woman Rep Ruweida Obo.
Foundation has in the past thrown their weight behind former Prime Minister Raila Odinga. Foundation has hosted all key presidential candidates except Deputy President William Ruto.
In what sounded like an adoption of the Northern region by Mt Kenya, the leaders agreed to work together, saying the two regions was behind the Head of State and would follow his political direction.
National Treasury CS Ukur Yatani, who is said to be behind mobilisation of the Northern eastern region in favour of President Uhuru, said there should be deliberate effort to put aside the perceived differences between the two regions to ensure they speak in one voice.
“If we speak in one strong voice here, the next elections is done. That is the direction that we want to take,” the CS said.
Eldas MP and Jubilee Party Joint Parliamentary Secretary Aden Keynan said due to the social, economic and political dynamics of the two regions, and given that the country was heading to a General Election, there was urgent need for leaders to seek unity.
“We have been disjointed and taken advantage of. However, we have now decided to unite and pursue our interests together. In the next dispensation, we want to be part of it,” said Keynan, who spoke on behalf of elected leaders