What does new MPs’ lobby mean for Uhuru?

By: WANJOHI GITHAE

The formation of a new parliamentary caucus group by MPs from Nyandarua, Nakuru and Laikipia counties poses a new headache for President Uhuru Kenyatta.

The MPs forming the Aberdare West Parliamentary Group accuse their counterparts from the larger central Kenya of double standards.

The group, chaired by Kipipiri MP Samuel Gichigi, plans to meet President Kenyatta to discuss issues that affect their three counties.

They also plan to meet National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi.

The group split from the Central Kenya Parliamentary Group chaired by Dagoretti South MP Dennis Waweru.

Formed in Nyahururu Town last weekend, the group says MPs from Kiambu, Murang’a, Nyeri and Kirinyaga are using them as a rubberstamp.

“For a long time we have been hunting together as central Kenya but when the prey is captured we are told that we are from Rift Valley. When we approach our Rift Valley brothers, we are told we are from central Kenya. The time is now ripe for us to chart our own path and fight for our space,” said Molo MP Joseph Kiuna.

The caucus brings together 27 MPs.

Mr Kiuna said Nakuru County has never produced a Cabinet minister or a permanent secretary of central Kenya descent.

The MPs also said they have no representation in key House committees.

Subukia MP Nelson Gaichuhie, the vice-chairman of the House Committee on Finance, Planning and Trade, is the most senior departmental committee member from the region.

They cited Murang’a where Woman Representative Sabina Chege chairs the Committee on Education, Research and Technology, while Kigumo MP Jamleck Kamau heads the Committee on Energy, Communication and Information.

THERE IS NO SPLIT

Central Bank Governor Patrick Njoroge is also from Murang’a where his predecessor, Prof Njuguna Ndung’u comes from.

From Nyeri County, Tetu MP Ndung’u Gethenji chairs the powerful Defence and Foreign Relations Committee.

Ol Jororok MP John Waiganjo said the region does not have a senior government official despite voting for Jubilee to a man.

The only senior official from the region was former Head of Civil Service Francis Kimemia from Nyandarua.

He was, however, suspended in a corruption purge ordered by the President early this year.

“He was replaced even before investigations were completed and when he was eventually cleared, he could not return to work. We do not have a Cabinet secretary or a principal secretary,” said Mr Waiganjo.

Central Kenya Parliamentary Group Chairman Dennis Waweru, who is the Dagoretti South MP, denied there was a split.

“We have the Mt Kenya East caucus and Nairobi MPs caucus. Does that make them splinter groups? They are all part of the larger Mt Kenya agenda. They cannot split because we are not a political party. These groups are for advocacy purposes only,” he said.

SOURCE: DAILY NATION