Meru governor Kiraitu Murungi has warned Kenyans against electing “a government of thieves” and expressed fears that the August 9 elections might see voters install leaders likely to loot the country’s coffers dry.
Mr Murungi supports Azimio La Umoja One Kenya Coalition presidential candidate Raila Odinga whose main competitor is Deputy President William Ruto who leads the Kenya Kwanza Alliance.
DP Ruto’s coalition brings together party leaders Musalia Mudavadi (Amani National Congress), Moses Wetangula (Ford Kenya) and Machakos governor Dr Alfred Mutua (Maendeleo Chap Chap).
Also in the coalition are Pamoja African Alliance (PAA) leader and Kilifi governor Amason Kingi and Speakers Justin Muturi (National Assembly) and Ken Lusaka (Senate) among other leaders.
Mr Murungi said there was a possibility that the 2022 elections might sink Kenya into bad leadership.
He drew a parallel of dictator Mubutu Sese Seko of then Zaire, now Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and told Kenyans not to make a mistake of electing a “government of thieves for thieves”. Mobutu seized power in a coup in 1965 and ruled for 32 years before a rebellion ousted him in 1997.
Mr Murungi said despite being the richest country in Africa with vast mineral deposits, DRC witnessed looting and plunder of public resources under Mobutu dictatorship, relegating the country into decades of poverty and civil war.
“I see a problem where we could bring into Kenya a kleptocracy. We are likely to make a mistake and usher in a government of thieves for thieves instead of a democracy. When I hear some people talk I see they have no idea…,” the governor said.
He spoke at Meru ASK grounds when he hosted Mr Odinga’s running mate, Narc Kenya leader Ms Martha Karua for a rally.
A kleptocracy is the worst form of government where there is no rule of law and corrupt politicians enrich themselves through kickbacks, bribes or brazenly direct state funds to themselves and their associates, as opposed to a democracy – a government of the people by the people for the people.
The governor recalled how he teamed up with Mr Odinga, Ms Karua and “other progressive leaders” in the 1990s during former President Daniel Moi’s reign in the fight for good governance that also ushered in multiparty democracy, and told Kenyans not to take for granted freedom of expression enjoyed by Kenyans currently.
He said the Azimio La Umoja One Kenya government will be democratic and best suited to transform the nation.
Ms Karua took time to sensitive residents on why they should elect good leaders, saying accountability should start from the county governments.
“Corruption is deeply rooted in Kenya from the top to the bottom. What we are looking for during these elections is accountable leaders who will perform. If you elect a good president without considering the kind of leaders at the county level, it will not help the country,” she said.
“A governor’s job is not as easy as that of an MP so when you cast your vote for the governor consider the candidate who has the capacity to manage resources and negotiate with partners and investors,” she added.
Also present were Nairobi governor Anne Kananu, Public Service and Gender Cabinet Secretary Prof Margaret Kobia, Meru deputy governor Titus Ntuchiu and Igembe North MP Maoka Maore among other leaders.