Limuru III: Martha Karua's new game plan in Mt Kenya politics

Martha Karua

Azimio la Umoja co-principal and Narc Kenya party leader Martha Karua.

Photo credit: File I Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Mt Kenya leaders organise a meeting dubbed Limuru III Conference, set to bring together more than 10 parties.
  • Ms Karua said various issues related to politics and 'oppression' of the community by the current regime will be discussed.

Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua and Jubilee secretary general Jeremiah Kioni have defended their decision to call a meeting in Limuru to discuss what they say are problems in the Mt Kenya region that are hurting residents.

Rattled by continued political divisions and alleged segregation, deteriorating local economy due to collapse of businesses and poor agricultural crop prices, Mt Kenya leaders have organised a meeting dubbed Limuru III Conference, set to bring together more than 10 parties.

The date of the conference, which is also meant to discuss the political direction the mountain will take, will be announced next week.

According to Ms Karua, various issues related to politics and 'oppression' of the community by the current regime will be discussed.

"We feel as a community that we need to come together to deliberate on issues affecting us," she said at Kutus town in Kirinyaga county on Friday during the launch of a drive meant to reconstitute all the Narc Kenya branches across the country. 

"The Constitution allows people with common interests to come together. We are not different from other communities and we should join hands to deliberate on our future," she said.

Some of the issues to be discussed at the conference are heavy burden of taxation and high cost of living as well as deteriorating health and education services.

They will also discuss “attempts to attack the Kikuyu culture” by the current regime.

 Raila Odinga and Martha Karua

Azimio la Umoja leader Raila Odinga with his 2022 running mate Martha Karua.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

"We shall continue pressing this regime where we feel we are being oppressed on issues pertaining to culture, taxation and politics, among others," she said.

“All those names that are committed to our alternative dispensation away from this government are involved. All those who feel that we are not in the right direction will congregate on behalf of our future destiny and make a declaration,”Ms Karua told Nation.

Mr Kioni said the organisers will meet on March 7, to set the date of the conference.

"It’s true we want to bring all leaders from the region together. We’re targeting politicians and opinion leaders," he said.

"We can hold the meeting on April 20 if we all agree on the date." 

Asked whether Jubilee party leader and former President Uhuru Kenyatta will attend, Mr Kioni responded:

"Uhuru has retired and is not involved in the organisation of the conference. However, every leader from the mountain is free to attend and give opinion."

He revealed that the main agenda will be the political survival of the region. "We have been invaded as a region and we want to discuss how we should stop the onslaught," he said.

The former Ndaragwa MP claimed that President William Ruto is determined to ensure that come 2027, no one from the region will have a voice politically, and "this is unacceptable".

He revealed that leaders of 17 political parties from the region will attend the meeting.

He said Mt Kenya faces political strangulation by the current regime and that all the counties from the region are being oppressed politically, socially, culturally and even economically, hence the need to discuss the matter and chat the way forward.

Kikuyu Council of Elders Chairman Wachira Kiago said "We cannot plan such a discourse without involving Mr Kenyatta, who is the reigning Mt Kenya kingpin.”

He said for such a declaration to have an effect, it must involve "the man who currently holds all the cultural instruments of power".

The Limuru II conference that brought together leaders from the Gikuyu, Embu, and Meru communities was held in March 2012 and saw Uhuru Kenyatta given the leadership reins to succeed the late President Mwai Kibaki.

Additional Reporting by Lucas Barasa, Mwangi Muiruri