Jubilee MP Maina Kamanda has urged Mt Kenya leaders to back the call to change the Constitution, saying it will create positions to ensure their community is represented in the next government.
Speaking at Thika Greens during the launch of Mt Kenya musicians’ sacco, Tamco, the nominated MP said the referendum is an opportunity to ensure the region is well represented after President Uhuru Kenyatta retires in 2022.
“The Agikuyu community wants a referendum as it will keep this region in government,” he said.
Mr Kamanda accused some leaders of engaging in the politics of “selling our people” to political brokers yet the time for such is long gone. He added that those who want votes must show their capabilities.
“Some of these leaders were not in the political arena during Kanu times when even your wife would be bought by Kanu machinery. We shall not allow a repeat of such scenarios especially with some leaders viewing themselves as commodities to be bought,” he said.
While mentioning leaders such as Muranga Governor Mwangi wa Iria, Thika Town MP Wainaina wa Jungle said the region has not run out of point men.
“We have seen leaders like Governor Wa Iria re-elected and rising to political heights by being elected vice chairperson of the Council of Governors. We should not think the region has fallen short of representation,” the MP said.
The governor urged leaders not to drag the presidency into the politics of budgetary allocations to counties.
“It’s high time leaders acknowledged that the President is not the President of Murang’a or Kiambu, or even the head of the Mt Kenya region, but the head of State,” he said.
He added, “As we demand equitable resource and budgetary allocations, we must know it’s the duty of the National Assembly and the Senate to create the model to be used, not the President.”
At the function, President Uhuru Kenyatta donated Sh1 million through Mr Kamanda while the Governor donated Sh500,000.
Mr Wa Iria will serve the CoG with Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya as its chairman.
Mr Oparanya started promised to push for the referendum in the context of devolution – for counties to get more money for their projects.
The chair hopes to take advantage of the handshake between Orange Democratic Movement leader Raila Odinga and President Uhuru Kenyatta, who has reiterated that the goal remains national unity and development.
Regarding development in Mt Kenya, Mr Kenyatta faced criticism from politicians including Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria.
He defended himself against claims he has sidelined the region, insisting his focus is development and that he sees nothing wrong with working with Mr Odinga.