By Joab Apollo
Kenya’s National Assembly Speaker Justine Muturi has been crowned as the new kingpin of the expansive Mount Kenya region, paving way for the political exit of President Uhuru Kenyatta, who in the lead up to the 2013 general election took the same mantle from retired President Mwai Kibaki.
Muturi, a long-time confidante of President Uhuru was controversially coronated on Saturday May 22 at the culturally symbolic Mukuruwe Nyagathanga shrine in Muranga, an exercise that has caused panic among key Kenyan politicians touted as heirs apparent to Kenyatta, whose term ends in 2022.
The ceremony affirms the long-held belief that Uhuru has reneged on his pledge to back his deputy, William Ruto, to be the 5th President of the Republic of Kenya, and sent shockwaves across former Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s camp.
Trouble in the ruling Jubilee Party started in 2018 when he entered into a handshake deal with Odinga, his bitter rival in the last two presidential elections. Consequently, Ruto launched an all-out war against the famous Uhuru-Odinga ceasefire, seen by Odinga’s supporters as the handing over of the presidential baton to the veteran politician.
Aside from Odinga, there have also been speculation that Uhuru is Keen on propping up the evasive Gideon Moi, a personal friend, business ally and son to his political mentor, former President Daniel Arap Moi.
It is Moi who introduced Uhuru, son to his friend and founding President of Kenya Jomo Kenyatta, to politics, and it is firmly believed that time is ripe for Uhuru to return favour to the Mois.
But with the elevation of Muturi, political factions have gone to the drawing board as the castigation of Uhuru reaches fever pitch. Many believe the latest development is part of a well-oiled strategy by Uhuru to continue running the country by proxies upon his retirement.
“Through Coronation, Muturi is holding brief for Uhuru Kenyatta’s leadership of the GEMA communities before and after 2022. It will not only enslave GEMA, it will also destroy Kenya.” Said renowned political detainee and former Subukia Member of Parliament. GEMA is an abbreviation of the Gikuyu, Embu, Meru and Aembu communities forming the larger Mount Kenya region.
Influential Murang’a Governor Anne Waiguru also poured cold water on the ceremony, terming it an exercise in futility.
“The ceremony will not give him an upper hand because the pi of Mount Kenya never had cultural kingpins and spokespersons until the colonialists came and installed the generally unpopular “Paramount Chiefs” ” She said
Since independence, Kenya has had four presidents, with the Mount Kenya region producing three, Kenyatta, Kibaki and Uhuru. Moi hailed from the Kalenjin community. This has resulted into ethnic polarization with other 42 tribes ferociously demanding their share at the Presidency.
President Uhuru’s stint in leadership has been tainted with widespread corruption and mishandling of the COVID-19 Pandemic, leading persistent agitation for a revolution. He has, however, dismissed his detractors as self-seekers.
Early this year, he shocked the nation when he publicly said that time has come for a non-Kalenjin and a non-Kikuyu president.