Fresh row erupts between Meru Governor Kawira Mwangaza and Senator Kathuri

Kawira Mwangaza

Meru Governor Kawira Mwangaza takes the oath of office in a ceremony presided over by Justice Lucy Njuguna in Meru on August 25. Ms Mwangaza has differed with Meru Senator Kathuri Murungi over running of the county.

Photo credit: David Muchui | Nation Media Group

Since the inception of devolution, the Meru governor and senator have ended up as foes despite starting out as friends.

In 2013, pioneer governor Peter Munya were close allies with the then senator Kiraitu Murungi before they fell out to become bitter rivals in 2016 to date.

In 2017, Mr Kiraitu would be elected governor with Mithika Linturi as senator but their friendship was also short lived.

In 2022, the political beef between Meru governor Kawira Mwangaza and Senator Kathuri Murungi, however, seems to be starting early in the term.

Shortly after they pledged to work as a team during the inauguration of governor Mwangaza, the senator and governor are not seeing eye to eye.

Governor Mwangaza has reopened the battlefront with senator Kathuri after claiming that he had demanded a share of the county government.

The claims came a few days after Ms Mwangaza skipped a prayer meeting attended by President William Ruto in Maua, Meru, on grounds that it had been hijacked by United Democratic Alliance (UDA) politicians.

Political divide

While Ms Mwangaza and Mr Kathuri were not on the same political divide during the elections, the governor has since pledged to work with President Ruto and UDA elected leaders.

Addressing a rally at Muthara on Wednesday, Ms Mwangaza’s husband Murega Baicu claimed that Mr Kathuri and Mr Linturi had set out their conditions to the governor.

 “They have given governor Mwangaza a condition that she must give them a share of the county executive if she wants a room in President Ruto’s administration. I want to ask Mr Linturi and Senator Kathuri to leave the governor alone. Let her set up the government without interference,” Mr Baichu said.

He said the governor would not cede any part of the government and that she would stick with President Ruto.

Ms Mwangaza said she would not be influenced by any politician since she did not get their support during the campaigns.

“My government has no brokers because I came directly to you and you voted for me. I will not share the government with any politician except the people of Meru who elected me. They will not get half or even a quarter of the government,” Ms Mwangaza said.

But Mr Kathuri, who is also the Senate Deputy Speaker has dismissed the claims saying he was not keen on responding to ‘their issues’.

“I have no time responding to them. My door is wide open and whoever wants to work with me can do so,” Mr Kathuri said.

Last week, Deputy governor Isaac M’Ethingia also accused Senator Kathuri of trying to influence the Meru Assembly Speaker elections.

“Senator Kathuri is not doing his work but trying to sabotage us. We do not want to be dragged into bad politics. We also hope the MCAs won’t elect a Speaker who is being imposed by Senator Kathuri. The Senator should concentrate on bringing resources to Meru and allow the MCAs to do their work,” Mr M’Ethingia said.