Raila Secretly met Tharaka-Nithi Leaders In Nairobi Over the Weekend…In a bid to get their votes in the forthcoming election in 2017…
Opposition leader Raila secretly met Tharaka-Nithi County leaders at an undisclosed location in Nairobi over the weekend.
Little is known about the meeting’s agenda but some of the attendees on Monday disclosed that their Nairobi visit was meant to seal a deal with the opposition leader on 2017 elections.
The meeting comes barely a month after Mr. Raila and Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi toured the County perceived to be one of Jubilee’s strongholds in the wider Meru region.
The MCAs reportedly met Raila at an undisclosed location and planned how to seal a deal with the Opposition leader on the 2017 elections. Although details of the meeting remained closely guarded, some of the leaders in attendance disclosed that they met on personal grounds.
Those who spoke to buzzkenya didn’t deny meeting the CORD leader, saying that he (Raila) was a Kenyan and could meet anybody, and not just for political reasons.
Mukothima MCA Mwenda Gataya said Tharaka Nithi had always been known to be a stronghold of voters but no development had taken place since independence.
Other leaders who attended the two-hour meeting are members of the Tharaka-Nithi County Assembly, including Mr. Muthengi Mubiu (Gatunga), Mr. Gataya Mwenda (Mukothima) and Mr. Nevert Ntwiga Kinuthia (Mitheru).
Also in attendance was Mr. Odinga’s crusader and activist Mike Mutembei alias Makarina from Meru County.
Although details of the meeting remain scanty, Mr. Mwangangi said there is an elaborate plan to convert Tharaka-Nithi into opposition stronghold in 2017.
It is also worth noting that the same team of MCAs and the chief officer has been hitting out at Tharaka-Nithi Senator Kithure Kindiki on alleged “theoretical” development approach to the county.
Mr. Kithure, who is also the Senate Majority Leader, has been accused of failing to deliver Jubilee goodies to his backyard.
According to Mr. Mwangangi, Jubilee will have to work harder to regain the support of Tharaka-Nithi residents who recently took to the streets to protest against Deputy President William Ruto.
This was after Mr. Ruto made remarks that appeared to suggest the national government does not recognize Kathwana town as the county’s headquarters.
The residents vowed to vote for the Opposition in 2017, saying the Jubilee administration has neglected them.
Local leaders, led by Governor Samuel Ragwa, his deputy Mati Murithi, and MCAs, said Mr. Ruto’s statement was a clear indication that the national government recognizes Chuka town as the county headquarters.
The Nairobi visit has caused jitters among Jubilee supporters in the County, with some claiming Mr. Ragwa is behind all the plans.
Former Tharaka MP Francis Kagwima, who hopes to be the running-mate of Mr. Petkay Miriti in the governor’s race, called on President Kenyatta to make a quick visit to the county to correct a statement made by Mr. Ruto over the county headquarters.
“This is a sign of a politically divided County and if the Jubilee’s top leadership does not address the headquarters row that was caused by Mr. Ruto, a big number of locals will vote opposition in 2017,” said Mr. Kagwima.
Some local leaders, he said, have moved to the opposition and will divert many votes from Jubilee in 2017.
Mr. Miriti, who is a member of Mr. Kenyatta’s campaign team, accused local leaders of misleading the residents for their personal gain.
However, he said, Jubilee government needs to boost its relationship with the residents through development projects.
“We want Tharaka-Nithi County to remain Jubilee’s stronghold and it is wrong for leaders to divide voters,” said Mr. Miriti.
Mr. James Mutegi, a supporter of Jubilee, said Mr. Ragwa and other local leaders who are willing to join opposition should not use the issue of underdevelopment to convince the locals to vote opposition in 2017.
“The leaders can move to the opposition but the voters will vote Jubilee in 2017,” said Mr. Mutegi.
In a past meeting, Prof Kindiki asked Mr. Ragwa to openly declare his support to Mr. Odinga rather than pretending that he is still in Jubilee.
However, Mr. Ragwa has maintained that he will seek re-election on Jubilee Party ticket.
He also denied inviting Mr. Odinga and Mr. Mudavadi to his County.