The Gikuyu, Embu, Meru Association (Gema) has resurfaced and asserted that President Uhuru Kenyatta is still its undisputed leader amid a battle in Mt Kenya region to succeed him when his term expires in 2022.
In a paid up advert in the Daily Nation Thursday, Gema chairman Lawi Imathiu reiterated the resolution made in a meeting Limuru in March 2012 that President Kenyatta is the community’s leader.
“In the last seven years, His Excellency Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta has led the country to tremendous development with tenacity and with wisdom that is unparalleled,” Bishop Imathiu said.
The Head of State’s tenacity, the statement said, was demonstrated by his patience during the last elections when he boldly accepted the verdict of the Supreme Court nullifying his win “although it was very clear that he had won the said elections”.
“His wisdom and magnanimity was demonstrated by inviting his opponent in the 2017 election, Hon. Raila Odinga, in a handshake of 9th March 2018 so that they could unite all the communities in this country once and for all and fight corruption to its ultimate end,” Bishop Imathiu said.
Gema has also praised the President for his efforts to unite all communities and also the fight against corruption.
The group expressed concern over the political happenings in the country and called for an end to early campaigns.
Bishop Imathiu said leaders should instead focus on development.
“We therefore urge all leaders, all arms of government (Executive, Legislature and Judiciary) to assist HE the President to fight corruption, which is threatening to destroy our society,” the statement said.
The statement by Gema comes amid divisions among leaders in Mt Kenya region over President Kenyatta’s succession when his second term ends in 2022.
TANGA TANGA, KIELEWEKE
Two groups have emerged with one –Tanga Tanga – rallying behind Deputy President William Ruto to succeed President Kenyatta while the Kieleweke Team backs President Kenyatta’s partnership with Mr Odinga and wants locals to focus on growth ahead of 2022.
Some local leaders have been jostling to succeed President Kenyatta as the Mt Kenya political kingpin.
The declaration by Gema comes as a blow to senior Mt Kenya politicians who have been calling for a convention to chart the way forward for the community ahead of the 2022 General Election.
Among them is Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri, Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi and Nyeri Senator Ephraim Maina who are on record calling for a meeting to discuss the community’s political future.
In March 2012, Mr Imathiu recalled, Gema community assembled for the Limuru Two conference and settled on President Kenyatta – then a Deputy Prime Minister – as the community’s leader.
Early this week, Senator Maina revealed that he is in talks with Mr Kiraitu to ensure the region approaches the 2022 polls as a united bloc.
The Senator said that if the more than six million voters in the region move to the polls without consensus, this will weaken its bargaining power.
There have been a growing calls among the Mt Kenya leaders for a Limuru Three convention to discuss on the region’s political direction and its stake in post-2022 government.
The calls were started last month by Mr Kiraitu and Mr Kiunjuri.