Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has said he will convene a meeting with leaders from Meru County in a bid to reconcile Governor Kawira Mwangaza with Members of the County Assembly.
The Deputy President on Sunday said he will be seeking to broker another truce after the failed impeachment attempt against governor Mwangaza, who was reinstated to office by the Senate last week.
It will be the third time the Deputy President is reconciling the Meru leaders.
This comes as a resident petitioned President William Ruto to dissolve the county government over the persistent wrangles. A number of Members of County Assemblies have also joined in the calls for dissolution of the county.
Said Mr Gachagua on Sunday: “Meru there was a problem and the issues have been resolved at the Senate. I had called the leaders for reconciliation but the peace existed only for one year. They started the wrangles again and we kept off. I will convene a meeting for the leaders including the governor, MCAs and MPs in a bid to bring them back together because Meru County is also very important to our Administration.”
Speaking in Embu, where he joined Christian faithful at St Anthony Catholic Church in Dallas and Kiajakoma Full Gospel Church in Runyenjes, the Deputy President said he will not give up in resolving leadership wrangles among feuding county leaders.
He said it was his duty to ensure devolution is functioning.
He was accompanied by a group of 20 leaders and eminent persons from the county and the region led by the host Governor Cecily Mbarire, Senator Alexander Mundigi, Woman Representative Njoki Njeru alias Double “N” and MPs Gitonga Mukunji (Manyatta), Muchangi Karemba (Runyenjes), Bernard Muriuki (Mbeere South), Geoffrey Kariuki (Mbeere North) together with members of the county assembly.
MPs Johanna Ng’eno (Emurua Dikirr), Nimrod Mbai (Kitui East), James Gakuya (Embakasi North), Bernard Kitur (Nandi Hills), Anne Wamuratha (Kiambu Woman Rep) and Beatrice Kemei (Kericho Woman Rep) together with former Embu Deputy Governor David Kariuki and former MPs Geoffrey King’ang’i (Mbeere South), John Muchiri (Manyatta) were present.
Embu politician Githinji Kiragu, Digital Strategist Dennis Itumbi and popular comedian Vincent Mwasia Mutua alias Chipukeezy also attended the functions.
In January and February, this year, the DP convened two reconciliation meetings between Meru leaders following protracted leadership wrangles after the Ward Representatives impeached Governor Kawira December 2022.
The Senate overturned the impeachment, and DP Gachagua brought the feuding parties together.
However, the governor was impeached 10 months later and the Senate restored her.
Mr. Gachagua rekindled that he had managed to mediate peace and resolve stalemates in Kericho and Kiambu counties, where leaders had feuds over governance issues.
In his remarks, the Deputy President lauded Embu leaders over their healthy working relationship.
“Embu county is crucial to the leadership of President William Ruto. Development can not be witnessed when there are wrangles. I urge you to continue working together for the sake of the people,” he said.
The Deputy President further stated that the government was changing its tact in ambassadorial appointments and foreign policy strategy saying that the diplomats will have a mandate to aggressively market Kenyan products in their stations.
“We have instructed the ambassadors that their main duty is searching markets for Kenyan products such as miraa and avocados,” said the Deputy President.
On the ongoing coffee reforms, the Deputy President said the government will not relent in its mission to ensure farmers get returns commensurate with their sweat.
“The reforms are ongoing and we are doing well. The middlemen, who had opposed the reforms so that they could continue oppressing farmers and had refused to buy the coffee, have returned to the market and will buy the coffee at high prices. We have set aside Ksh 4 billion to caution the farmers. We have buyers from Germany, Belgium and others who want to buy the coffee directly from farmers,” he stated.
The Deputy President further defended President Ruto’s international trips saying that Kenya had reaped big economically from the tours.
“I will make a report on successes of the President’s international trips. The economy has benefited,” he said.
On illicit brews and alcoholism in Embu, the DP directed the county police commander to ensure traders arrested in connection to toxic brews are arraigned in court.
Local leaders accompanying the DP said police officers were the weak link in the fight against alcoholism since the suspects arrested by national government administration officers were being released.
The leaders praised the government over the ongoing socio-economic development projects in various parts of the country.
Governor Mbarire said the Kenya Kwanza administration had initiated development projects in Embu such as construction of a Ksh 700 modern market, industrial park (Ksh 500 million), Embu stadium and recruitment of 1600 Community Health Officers.
“When we see you we know we have a fighter and leader for the Embu community. I support DP and the President because in ten years Embu county lost many development opportunities,” said Ms Mbarire, who is also chairperson of the United Democratic Alliance Party.
She added that the subsidized fertilizer supplied earlier in the year had helped farmers and that they want more.