Ahead of a press conference this morning, Senate Majority Whip Irungu Kang’ata was yesterday maintaining his views on the likelihood of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) being rejected by Mt Kenya voters, even in the face of public criticism by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Mr Irungu said he was ready to lose his position in parliament over his letter on the waning popularity of the BBI in President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Mt Kenya backyard.
“If it comes to that (de-whipping), I will abide by the decision made by my party,” Mr Kang’ata said on Saturday.
Just hours after President Kenyatta hit out at him for “writing letters to lecture me”, the Murang’a Senator claimed some people had misinformed the Head of State on “matters of critical importance.”
Irungu however, said he felt vindicated that some regional leaders were now acknowledging that there is work that needs to be done for Mt Kenya people to rediscover their loyalty to their leaders. Asked whether he feared that the President might order his henchmen to discipline him, Mr Kang’ata responded: “I cannot really second-guess my boss.”
The Murang’a Senator, whose letter dated December 30 has rattled Jubilee and excited Dr Ruto’s allies, is scheduled to address a press conference in Parliament today.
This as the Kieleweke brigade allied to President Kenyatta came out of their trenches, conceding that they are already too late in the scramble for the region’s political soul, which Dr Ruto and his Tangatanga team appear to be in the patenting phase ahead of next year’s August polls.
They announced that they were soon rolling out public functions to counter Dr Ruto’s onslaught. On Saturday, Mr Kenyatta warned that he was still in charge and hinted that he would soon take the assault against Tangatanga to the ground.
“Waandike ile mabarua wanataka kuandikaandika (let them write whatever letters they wish to) I am in charge of this government and I am in control of what we are doing,” President Kenyatta said at the funeral of Mrs Hannah Mudavadi, the mother of ANC party leader Musalia Miudavadi.
The President said that, on the BBI, he was very clear on where he was going. In his letter to the President, Mr Kang’ata had said that the BBI risked failure owing to its association with an “unpalatable political formation behind it, use of civil servants to advance it as well as segregation of even the Handshake loyalists.”
He said he had conducted his own poll that deduced that, out of 10 Mt Kenya voters, six opposed, two supported and two were ambivalent.
Following President Kenyatta’s reaction, Mr Kang’ata said he would not be drawn into an exchange with either the President or his supporters.
“I urge all to exercise honesty and truthfulness. Let us first acknowledge that my letter has ignited some action. I only echoed cumulative information that had been brought to my attention from public acquaintances, career peers and my supporters,” he said.
He said that he is not interested in taking the President head-on as “he is my boss, I respect him and his government”, adding that he didn’t regret telling him the truth.
Meanwhile, Mt Kenya Leaders Parliamentary Group, alias ‘the Handshake Team’, met at Thika Greens Hotel on the outskirts of Thika on Saturday and asked the President to discipline errant members.
The over 50 MPs led by National Assembly Majority leader Amos Kimunya said their strength lay in uniting Mt Kenya region, lamenting that “there are people working day and night to divide us in the hope of neutralising our strength.”