Waruguru rallies behind Uhuru, Raila, backs BBI

ODM leader Raila Odinga Laikipia Woman Representative Catherine Waruguru

ODM leader Raila Odinga (right) and Laikipia Woman Representative Catherine Waruguru at Mr Odinga's Capitol Hill office in Nairobi on June 9, 2020. 

Photo credit: Pool

What you need to know:

  • Ms Waruguru said she met Mr Odinga to discuss pertinent issues of national importance.
  • Laikipia County Assembly's Jubilee Party leadership vowed to rally behind Mr Kenyatta and Mr Odinga.

The President Uhuru Kenyatta- and Raila Odinga-backed constitutional reforms have tilted the political terrain in Laikipia County with a section of leaders shifting gears. 

Last week, some of Deputy President William Ruto's key allies in the county trooped to Mr Odinga's Capitol Hill offices in Nairobi for a series of consultative meetings.  

Laikipia Woman Representative Catherine Waruguru met the African Union Special Envoy for Infrastructure last Tuesday before Laikipia North MP Sarah Korere visited the ODM leader the following day. 

PERTINENT ISSUES

This comes a week after Laikipia County Assembly's Jubilee Party leadership vowed to rally behind Mr Kenyatta and Mr Odinga.

The outspoken MP, who was a staunch supporter of the deputy president, said she had resorted to work with the government. Ms Waruguru said she met the Orange Democratic Movement leader to discuss pertinent issues of national importance.

Asked whether her support for the Dr Ruto was intact, she said: "I support the government of the day.”

The meeting, which was also attended by National Assembly Minority Whip Junet Mohamed, has elicited mixed reactions among Kenyans, especially from Laikipia.  

The first time MP, commonly known as 'Mama Simba' however said she welcomed criticisms and support in equal measure.

MIXED REACTIONS

"My move must have elicited mixed reactions but that is expected. In politics, divergent views are welcome," Ms Waruguru said.

She supports the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) that is championed by President Kenyatta and Mr Odinga. The lawmaker has been one of Dr Ruto's allies who are being kicked out of critical House leadership positions.

But Ms Waruguru said: "I know what I am doing, the future is in government".

She currently serves as vice chairperson of the National Assembly's Members Services and Facilities Committee and is also a member of the departmental committee on lands.

Mr Odinga, in his official Twitter account, said he held discussion with Ms Waruguru "on critical national issues including constitutional reforms and national unity".

In her Facebook page, Ms Waruguru said: "If we let the Kenyan third generation travel in a tribal train, we will have lost it all. And as long as my people in Laikipia will benefit from government projects, I don't mind. They are the ones that matter to me".

Ms Waruguru was a member of 'Inua Mama Jenga Taifa', a women MPs group led by Kandara MP Alice Wahome to drum support for the Dr Ruto.

CONSTITUTIONAL REFORMS

During the group's rally in Isiolo in October last year, Ms Waruguru castigated the constitutional reforms, saying they were only initiated by two leaders (Mr Kenyatta and Mr Odinga) instead of citizens. She said Mr Odinga could be championing BBI for his political mileage.

"Political seats should be competitive and those seeking them must be ready to look for votes in the general election," Ms Waruguru said then.

Laikipia County Assembly's Majority Leader Peter Thomi chaired a meeting attended by 15 elected and eight nominated MCAs.

The lawmakers included House Minority Leader Jacob Endom (PNU), signaling that Jubilee purge could be extended to leaders who will sabotage President Kenyatta's development agenda at the grassroots. Mr Thomi said they resolved to support the BBI .

"Of late, we have realised that the President is unhappy with us Laikipians because we lost two powerful leadership positions. We want to make peace and assure him of our unwavering support," he said.

HOUSE COMMITTEES

The Githiga MCA said they will not hesitate to reconstitute House committees if there will emerge defiant leaders that 'will be perceived to be opposing the party leader'.

Rumuruti MCA Joseph Suge said: "We know that Jubilee party is led by President Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto. As an Assembly, we will support the proposed referendum that is meant to unite this nation".

Former Agriculture CS Mwangi Kiunjuri, MP Patrick Mariru (Laikipia West) and Senator John Kinyua who are ardent supporters of the DP have of late been silent.

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