Politics

Dr Kibicho, Mr Ngirici bury the hatchet, but for what exactly?

Dr Kibicho, Mr Ngirici bury the hatchet, but for what exactly?

The new rapport between Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho and Kirinyaga tycoon Andrew Ngirici, who had not been seeing eye to eye, has sent tongues wagging.

Mr Ngirici is the husband of Kirinyaga Women Representative Purity Wangui, an ally of Deputy President William Ruto and his party United Democratic Alliance (UDA).

Dr Kibicho has been at the forefront in efforts to keep Ruto from making further inroads in the Mt Kenya region. Observers are now raising questions about what the two former sworn political enemies are up to, with talk that Dr Kibicho was wooing Ms Wangui to President Uhuru Kenyatta's wing of Jubilee.

But while the PS is on record saying he was not interested in county politics, the Deputy President has endorsed Ms Wangui for the governor seat on a UDA ticket in 2022 to challenge Anne Waiguru.

Dr Kibicho and Mr Ngirici buried the hatchet at a well-attended meeting on Friday in Kandongu village, Mwea constituency, and agreed to work together. They said this would aid unity and development in the region.

They publicly apologised to each other, much to the amusement of the residents. Ms Wangui was also present.

Influential

Mr Ngirici is highly influential in Kirinyaga politics and in 2017 he campaigned for his wife, who won with a landslide.

Dr Kibicho and Mr Ngirici had been at loggerheads for a long time and they never met to discuss development matters, though they were born and brought up in the same county.

They even shook hands, signifying that they had reconciled.

"I know I have offended you and I do apologise to you in front of the people of the county," Mr Ngirici told the PS.

They said there was no need to fight forever.

For his part, Dr Kibicho said Mr Ngirici had frequently hurled insults at him but he had forgiven him.

"I also say sorry if I have ever abused Ngirici. Leadership is about forgiving one another. We should now focus on unity," Dr Kibicho added.

The reconciliation has rattled Governor Waiguru, who is Ms Wangui’s political arch-rival.
Immediately after the Kandongu meeting, Ms Waiguru urged Dr Kibicho to focus on insecurity in Laikipia.

She said on Twitter: "Shouldn't priority be saving Laikipia instead of early campaigns?"

But during the meeting, Dr Kibicho was quick to explain that he was not politicking.

He defended his actions, saying he was not out to lure Ms Wangui to join President Kenyatta's wing.

"Lest I be mistaken, I'm not here to prevail upon Wangui to cross over to President Uhuru's political camp. Neither am I leaning on UDA. I have come here because of the unity of the region," he said.

Dr Kibicho also said he had not joined any political alliance with the Ngiricis for the 2022 Kirinyaga gubernatorial race.