What you need to know:
- Ms Karua advocated for the strengthening of the region's parties, arguing they will ensure the people have seats at the country's top decision-making table.
Several Mt Kenya leaders have resolved not to fold up their political parties and join Deputy President William Ruto’s United Democratic Alliance (UDA) ahead of the 2022 General Election.
Mt Kenya Unity Forum spokesperson, Martha Karua, who is leading the rebellion, Saturday recalled how she and other leaders fought for multiparty democracy during the late President Daniel Moi's regime in the 1990s.
Ms Karua advocated for the strengthening of the region's parties, arguing they will ensure the people have seats at the country's top decision-making table.
"I was a youthful leader of the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) when we pushed the Kanu government to allow the introduction of the multiparty system in Kenya. We were really oppressed at that time. Those who were not there cannot understand why we are reluctant, as Mt Kenya leaders, to fold up our respective parties," Ms Karua said.
The Narc Kenya leader said the forum has resolved to foster unity of diversity and purpose to fight those calling for dissolution of small parties.
"We cannot go back to the one-party system. We must be respected. I am urging my colleagues not to bow to intimidation and fold up. Let us compete fairly in the coming polls," Ms Karua said.
She further said she has not endorsed anyone for the presidency and will rally behind one who will factor in the interests of the people of Mt Kenya.
"In 2017, I supported President Uhuru Kenyatta’s reelection bid under Narc Kenya, which I did not fold to join Jubilee Party. We should remain strong as a forum and desist the intimidation," she said.
The forum, which brings together a number of party leaders from the vote-rich region endorsed Ms Karua as its spokesperson in a recent meeting in Naivasha.
Ms Karua spoke at Gakawa location in Kieni East, Nyeri County, during the burial of politician Mwangi Kiunjuri's nephew, Gerald Kariuki.
The New Democrats (TND) party leader Thuo Mathenge echoed Ms Karua's sentiments, urging the Mt Kenya community to embrace and support small parties.
Laikipia Woman Representative Catherine Waruguru said the Constitution protects the rights of all political parties.
"As the Kikuyu community, we have, over the years, agreed to reduce ourselves to political beggars during the electioneering period because we lack unity of purpose. We are a divided house and cannot blame anybody when other parties come to woo the mountain," Ms Waruguru said.
"The only person who is on record saying he does not want to join hands with other political parties is Dr William Ruto with his UDA party. Dr Ruto is cooking a meal for his children. We will cook for our Mt Kenya people otherwise Dr Ruto will scoop the seat very early in the morning," she added.