Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has asked the Meru County leaders to resolve the escalating leadership wrangles which are threatening development in the area.
Speaking during prayers and funds-drive at Kaelo Methodist Church in Kenya, in Igembe North Constituency, Meru County, the Deputy President said the leadership of Kenya Kwanza is looking forward to a peaceful resolution of the conflict between Governor Kawira Mwangaza and other leaders of the county, including her Deputy Isaac Mutuma.
“It is my desire that my dear brothers and sisters, you make peace for development of this county. I request you with due respect. I ask the political, religious and elders to sit down and bring peace,” the Deputy President said.
Mr Gachagua said President William Ruto and himself, for now, will let the people of Meru resolve the matter on their own, because the region has leaders and structures of doing so.
Early this year, the Deputy President intervened and brokered peace between Governor Mwangaza and Members of the County Assembly when they voted to impeach her in November 2022.
Several MCAs have again threatened to impeach her for alleged nepotism, illegal appointments and sacking of employees, among other accusations.
Although he has again held several meetings with the leadership of the county, he said, the People of Meru have the capacity to determine their destiny.
Gachagua said Meru County has to be peaceful as the other counties of Central Kenya region and the country in general, if development has to be realised.
“The Mountain (Mt Kenya) is one. The people of the region have the same interests. We must be united,” he said.
He cautioned that he will expose any leader, who may be working against the unity of the region, saying it is his responsibility to bring the people together.
“I am uniting this region behind President Ruto to a man. We are working with all our leaders, including those in Azimio (La Umoja One Coalition),” Mr Gachagua added.
He said some leaders from outside the region are sponsoring young people to propagate propaganda on imaginary cracks in Mt Kenya.
On the other hand, Mr Gachagua said the Government is deploying resources to end banditry and cattle rustling along the borders of Meru-Isiolo Counties.
“The cattle-rustling must end. We will deploy more officers and other resources to end the matter once and for all. The officers will be on the ground as long as it takes,” he said.
The Deputy President said the economy of the region is at stake unless the political conflict and banditry are resolved with urgency, add that the ongoing reforms in the Agriculture sector will only be of benefit if the county is peaceful.
The Deputy President has been leading reforms in the coffee, tea and dairy subsectors, as he also moves to put more money into the pocket of the miraa, macadamia and other crops.
While lauding stakeholders of working with him in tea reforms, which have borne fruit, Mr Gachagua asked the coffee farmers to be patient.
“All good things come after hard times, but it will be done. We are almost there. We are bringing in buyers who will get their coffee from the farmers directly. We are determined to deliver the reforms,” he said.
The Deputy President was accompanied by Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi (Agriculture) Principal Secretary Patrick Kilemi (State Department for Cooperatives) Deputy Governor Mutuma, Senator Kathuri Murungi (Meru) the host MP Julius Taitumu, Mpuru Aburi (Tigania East MP), Peter Kihungi (Kangema MP), Julius Melly (Tinderet MP), Lydia Haika (Taita Taveta County MP), Lisa Chelule (Nakuru County MP).
Others included, Jayne Kihara (Naivasha MP), Vincent Musyoka Kawaya (Mwala MP), John Mutunga (Tigania west MP), Rindikiri Mugambi (Buuri), Daniel Karitho (Igembe Central), Elizabeth Karambu (Meru County MP), Shadrack Mwiti (South Imenti MP), Rahim Dawood (North Imenti MP), John Paul Mwirigi (Igembe South MP), over 25 members of the County Assembly of Meru, among other leaders.