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‘Stubborn’ Uhuru complicates Mount Kenya’s political future

Once known for its unity and economic influence, Mount Kenya’s political future appears to be at crossroads.

This follows the move by several influential leaders to pull in different directions after the 2022 presidential elections.

Upon the lapse of former president Uhuru Kenyatta’s term of office, a chunk of leaders elected to support President William Ruto’s presidency.

They include, among others, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua, governors Mutahi Kihiga, Susan Kihika, Irungu Kang’ata, Ann Waiguru, Cecil Mbarire and Kimani Wamatangi, plus lawmakers Ndindi Nyoro and Kimani Ichungwa.

Others are Alice Wahome and Moses Kuria who were appointed Cabinet Secretaries by President Ruto.

These leaders appear to be at logger heards with the ex-president who has retained his support for Raila Odinga and the Azimio coalition.

Speaking on May 23, 2023, Mr Kenyatta said he considered retiring from active politics but had to change his mind after the Ruto administration consistently insulted him and watched as his family’s property at Northlands farm in Kiambu county was destroyed.

“I handed over power peacefully in broad daylight and had decided to leave this thing (read politics) and try something else but istead I am fed with insults and stealing of (my) goats, destroying (my) farms,” said the former president.

Analysts however believe Mr Kenyatta’s decision to remain in politics is aimed at protecting the vast family wealth.

Mr Kenyatta’s decision has put him at loggerheads with President Ruto and his allies.

Seasoned leaders Martha Karua, Jeremiah Jioni, David Murathe and Mwangi wa Iria are in Uhuru’s camp.

The Head of State has accused his predecessor of funding the opposition’s anti-government protests and not paying tax.

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has also consistently maintained the former president’s regime was involved in several corrupt dealings. He has also challenged the Kenyatta family to distribute their vast land to the needy.

Meanwhile, Gachagua and Nyoro have been considered possible kingpins from the region in the run up to the 2027 presidential elections while Mr Kenyatta’s intent in remaining in active politics, possibly at the expense of losing his retirement perks, remains unclear.

Mount Kenya has been home to three of the country’s five presidents.

They are Jomo Kenyatta and Uhuru Kenyatta (all deceased) plus Uhuru Kenyatta.

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