September 18, 2021

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Limuru III: Within the plane of Uhuru’s allies

Allies of President Uhuru Kenyatta will meet in Limuru over the next two weeks to chart his succession and unite his supporters in light of the political turmoil that has swept the region.

Dubbed Limuru III, the meeting attended by parliamentarians, governors, senators, MCAs, aspirants, religious leaders, businessmen and professionals from the Gikuyu, Meru and Embu communities should give the political direction that central Kenya will take in view of 2022 General elections.

It is also expected to grease the region’s political pivot, with time running out towards the end of Kenyatta’s presidency, which is in his second and final term.

Since 1966, the city of Limuru in Kiambu County has been the center of regional politics, with the first conference making decisions to water down Vice President Jaramogi Oginga Odinga’s powers and his eventual removal from the ruling Kanu party.

The second meeting was in 2012 when Kenyatta was anointed leader of Mount Kenya and showed up to compete for the presidency.

The third summit comes at a time when President Kenyatta is serving his second and final year and has refused to be involved in the succession debate, as some leaders in the region declare an interest in succeeding him.

Divided region

Those behind the push for the meeting agree that Mount Kenya is politically divided.

Ms Karua and Mr. Kiunjuri met with some parliamentarians in Nairobi on Monday, where they agreed that the conference would be held without delay.

“The commitment we have is unity of purpose for the people of Mount Kenya. We will contact all MPs as we deliberate on the issues that will be on our wish list of any candidate seeking the Kenyan presidency. No one is told to leave their party unless they want to, but we must come together and speak with one voice, ”Ms. Karua said.

Kieni congressman Kanini Kega said the Mount Kenya region shares socio-political interests and culture. “As we approach 2022, the same thing will repeat itself. That we will have a leaders’ meeting and chart our way forward, regardless of whether we have a candidate or not. That time will come soon, ”Kega said.

The meeting resolutions will impact the campaigns of Vice Resident William Ruto, who breached Mount Kenya for his presidential candidacy in 2022, as well as ODM leader Raila Odinga, whose handshake with President Kenyatta was translated by his supporters as part of a political agreement in the upcoming elections.

The question of who will succeed Kenyatta as the pivot of the region has deeply divided the local power elite, sparked widespread uncertainty and sank its support base in the region politically.

Mr. Kiunjuri said anyone making the political assumption that they have already won the blockade of Mount Kenya will be surprised.

“It is too early to say that you have climbed the mountain. The mountain is so high that there is even ice up there. The weather can be very rough. And therefore, it is good to continue to be indebted to people but not to think that you have been successful, “Kiunjuri said.

Key position

The Limuru Conference Center has remained, over the years, significant in Kenya’s political history ever since it was the place where Kanu was formed in the 1960s by small parties that decided to merge before the general election.

It was here that James Gichuru was elected president of Kanu, pending Jomo Kenyatta’s release, and where Tom Mboya rose to become the party’s general secretary, after agreeing to fold his Nairobi People’s Convention Party. It was also agreed by all elected members of the Legislative Council (Legco) that all district associations would become branches of Kanu.

It was the failure of Daniel arap Moi and Ronald Ngala to attend the Limuru conference which saw the formation of the Kadu opposition in 1960.

In March 1966, the Limuru Conference Center would play a significant role when Kanu held a conference of party delegates on March 12-13, 1966 to dethrone Mr. Odinga, who had become critical from within the Kenyatta government.

It was also in Limuru that the first conference on the push for constitutional reforms was held in 1997 and found a resolution on how to force the Moi government to adopt changes. It was here that the likes of Kivutha Kibwana, Willy Mutunga and Oki Ooko-Ombaka emerged as champions of these efforts.

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