President Uhuru Kenyatta has just accelerated on the pedestal and is hitting anything or anyone on his way. Hours after bagging Kalonzo Musyoka and Isaac Ruto, he has pulled yet another political surprise.
In a move that has dealt his hitherto ceremonial Deputy another threatening blow, the President has consolidating his support in western Kenya taking charge of the region’s politics after he authorized the immediate completion of all stalled projects in the region in what could change the political fortunes of his deputy William Ruto in the region.
Coming on a day 16 members of his party, allied to Dr Ruto, were officially kicked out of their positions in the National Assembly, the President may have locked out his deputy from his strongholds.
Deputy President Ruto had made political inroads in various parts of the country by opening projects, or inspecting progress and taking part in numerous harambees, so much that it earned him the moniker ‘Tangatanga’.
But with the projects route blocked, the DP will need to come up with other ways of selling his agenda in the run-up to 2022.
The President directed Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i, in his capacity as the chairman of the National Development Implementation and Communication Cabinet Committee, to host a consultative meeting with leaders from the five counties in the western region and deliberate on development projects.
Launching projects and completing existing ones will give mileage to President Kenyatta and curtail the agenda of Tangatanga who, before the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, had been traversing the country in the name of development.
As expected, pro-Ruto MPs did not show up at the meeting held at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development in Nairobi, amid reports that they had been asked to stay away.
National Assembly Majority Whip Emmanuel Wangwe had invited all the MPs from the region to the meeting through text messages, going a step further to post the same invite in the MPs’ WhatsApp group.
However, only Kieleweke MPs, who a month ago had picked Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya and Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa as their spokesmen, attended the meeting, further underlining the fight for the control of the soul of the region.
The meeting was attended by more than 20 MPs, three governors and 4 senators but those allied to ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi and Ford Kenya MPs allied to the faction of Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula kept off.
Dr Matiang’i tagged along CSs Peter Munya (Agriculture), Sicily Kariuki (Water), Mr Wamalwa (Devolution) and Health CAS Rashid Aman represented CS Mutahi Kagwe in a meeting that lasted close to four hours and discussed a wide range of issues from infrastructure, the ailing sugar industry and water.
Dr Matiang’i agreed to visit the region between July 20 and 21, 2020 to analyse the status of the projects and report back to the President.