Justin Muturi will be the voice of President, says Uhuru's cousin Kung'u Muigai
President Uhuru Kenyatta will be communicating to Mount Kenya residents through National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi, the National Council of Elders patron Kung’u Muigai has claimed.
Mr Muigai, who is President Kenyatta’s cousin, says the plan is to have Mr Muturi take over the Mt Kenya political mantle from the President when he retires next year.
Mr Muturi was last month crowned as the Mt Kenya ‘spokesperson’ at the Mukurwe wa Nyagathanga shrine, setting off a political storm from a section of leaders from the region.
The President’s cousin, however, says the journey to officially endorse Mr Muturi as the regional kingpin had started, revealing that there is another plan to take him to a shrine in Mt Kenya forest where elders will enthrone him as the region’s political kingpin.
“After the process is complete, Muturi will be the Mt Kenya spokesman with the President speaking on behalf of the entire nation. But when the President visits the region, Muturi bows to the crown,” he said.
Mr Muigai spoke during the burial of the late National Council of Elders Chair and former Njuri Ncheke Secretary-General Phares Rutere at his BBC home in Meru County on Saturday.
Nairobi Acting Governor Anne Kananu, Isiolo Deputy Governor Dr Abdi Issa, MPs Mugambi Rindikiri (Buuri), Rahim Dawood (Imenti North) and Igembe South’s John Paul Mwirigi and elders from across the country attended the funeral.
Mr Muigai repeated claims that the President was aware of the plan to install Mr Muturi as the Mt Kenya spokesperson.
“We will be sending him to the President and getting information from the Head of State through him. We sent him the message that Mzee Ruteere had passed on and the President sent his message through him,” he noted.
Lead the region
According to Mr Muigai, elders from Njuri Ncheke told the president at Sagana State Lodge earlier this year that it was time for Mt Kenya West to support someone from the east to lead the region.
Speaker Muturi is from the Mbeere community in Embu County, and one of the senior-most government officials in Mt Kenya East.
Speaking in a phone interview yesterday, Mr Muigai added that since Mr Kenyatta and Mr Muturi were all sons of Mt Kenya, the elders would not push for the President to “endorse” him.
“Uhuru is our son and so is Muturi and we have blessed them. We (elders) from Mt Kenya West have accepted the Speaker as our spokesperson because he is non-partisan and we will soon take him to a holy shrine for him to be crowned,” Mr Muigai said, adding that those opposing his coronation “were frogs that could not stop the cow from drinking water.”
He maintained that elders were the custodians of the society and had a roadmap of the region, and vowed that they would put into order the politics of Mountain region that he said “had been hijacked by some leaders who were self-centred and were sowing seeds of discord.”
Mr Muturi’s coronation as Mt Kenya spokesperson at Mukurwe wa Nyagathanga shrine in Murang’a on May 22 has sparked a strong pushback in the region, with politicians from the west opposing it on grounds that they were not consulted over the matter.
While the Speaker has been supported by governors Kiraitu Murungi (Meru), Martin Wambora (Embu) and Muthomi NJuki (Tharaka Nithi), among those opposed are Anne Waiguru (Kirinyaga), Mwangi Wa iria (Murang’a) and Lee Kinyanjui of Nakuru.
Yesterday the Speaker was forced to respond to reports of a no-confidence motion against him by MPs opposed to his coronation.
"Bring on the motion. I'm not a coward," he told the press at St Mark Ena Secondary School after the Embu Anglican Diocesan Education Sunday service. Mr Muturi was the chief guest of the function.
"I have been in the political game for long. Some of those threatening me have been in Parliament for only three years. Those against me can't even meet the threshold to kick me out," he said.
During the Saturday burial, Mr Muigai said Mt Kenya politicians opposed to Mr Muturi’s coronation were likely to divide the region into two blocks.
“We are going to embrace dialogue and bring everyone on board without caring whether he is from Mt Kenya East or West,” he said.
Politicians are intolerant
National Council of Elders Vice-Chairperson, John Seii, said time had come for the elders to put the country’s politics in order as they were the custodians of the nation.
“There is too much noise in the country and politicians are intolerant to each other and we (elders) have decided to take charge, tame the situation and bring sanity before things get out of hand,” said Mr Seii.
Mr Muturi, who represented the President and read the Head of State’s condolence message to Mr Rutere’s family, said as the regional spokesperson he would listen to views of all leaders.
“The journey to building peace and unity in Mt Kenya region and the country at large has started and the train has left the station. Wait at your station to board so that we work together,” said Mr Muturi while calling on leaders across the country to preach peace for a united nation.
All the leaders said they supported Mr Muturi’s endorsement adding that they were solidly behind him. “Those making noise (about his coronation) should have come out earlier,” said Mr Dawood.
Ms Kananu and Mr Mwirigi said they were confident that Mr Muturi will politically guide the region in the right direction and asked other leaders to respect the elders’ decision.
“Our elders, who we respect so much, have shown us the direction. Who are we to oppose?” the Acting Nairobi Governor posed.
Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church of Kenya Joseph Ntombura asked politicians to exercise tolerance against each other and allow everyone to sell their agenda, saying Kenyans were the ones to make the final decision.
Reports by George Munene, Gitonga Marete and Waweru Wairimu