I’m the Meru ‘King’, not Senator Kithure —Peter Munya
The Njuri Ncheke, led by Phares Ruteere, recently installed Senate Majority Leader Prof Kithure Kindiki as the spokesman of the larger Meru (Meru and Tharaka Nithi). This did not go well with Governor Peter Munya.
“As the governor of Meru, I am the spokesman of the Ameru,” he thundered before a crowd in Meru town. “We are not going to allow the elders to be misused for personal interests. They should be fighting for our interests,” he said.
But Prof Kindiki Kithure says, “I will pay whatever price it takes to make sure the Ameru remain united. This is the way to achieve economic, social and political development of the region and seek unity with other communities.”
Curiously, both Munya and Kithure say they are friends. During their time as Moi University law lecturers, they rode in the same car to their homes during holidays, the senator alighting in Tharaka and the governor proceeding to his Tigania home.
Theirs is one of the sideshows in a county where the governor, MPs and the fabled Njuri Ncheke seem to perpetually pull in different directions because of deep-rooted political differences.
MPs also accuse Munya of giving senior jobs to their political opponents with a view of unseating those he doesn’t like come 2017. Among them is Abdul Rahim Dawood’s chief opponent, former Imenti MP, Silas Muriuki, who is now in charge of Meru Town Development Board.
“He (Governor Munya) says he is working well with Meru MPs, but the signals we are receiving paints a different picture. In public, he says we are friends, but in private he is fighting me,” said Dawood, the North Imenti MP.
Dawood, one of the wealthiest businessmen in Meru, now claims the county government is blocking his plans to build a Sh500 million shopping mall on the Meru-Maua highway
But County Executive for Lands, Housing, Economic and Physical Planning, Martin Bikuri, said no development would be allowed in that area because it is riparian land.
“We will protect it for prosperity. We will not allow him to put any development on it,” swore Bikuri. “He is just playing politics, trying to win sympathy from the public. The land is less than an acre. If he wants, he can look elsewhere, but not on public land. We will not allow him to use that land.”
Tigania East MP Mpuru Aburi has now teamed up with Dawood, although his differences with the governor are historical. He is increasingly seen with Dawood, Imenti South MP Kathuri Murungi and Tigania West’s David Kariithi, a group that has just ousted Igembe South MP Mithika Linturi as Meru Parliamentary Group chairman.
Not surprisingly, Linturi and Munya are now working together.
The latest spat involving Dawood and Mpuru, on one hand, and Linturi and Governor Munya on the other, revolves around President Uhuru Kenyatta’s visit.
On February 21, Munya, Kiraitu Murungi, Linturi, and four other MPs and MCAs held a night meeting at a Meru hotel to plan President Kenyatta’s itinerary. But on Monday, Dawood released a different itinerary for Uhuru’s visit to his constituency.
“In my constituency, the President will launch Mati Road then the Kironga/Gakoromone bypass. He will then go to Gakoromone open air market for a public meeting then go to the Post Office to open the Huduma Centre.
But Munya trashed that and said the President will be too busy to make many stops in one area and warned politicians against bringing political differences to the fore during Uhuru’s visit.