Caption for the landscape image:

Peter Kenneth: No Mt Kenya unity talks without Uhuru and Gachagua

Scroll down to read the article

Former Gatanga MP Peter Kenneth during an interview at his Nairobi office.

Former presidential candidate Peter Kenneth speaks to Nation.Africa about his new political project.

He also dismisses the Limuru III conference as a mischievous political venture and admits he is in talks with Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua and former President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Q: Will you be attending the Limuru III conference?

A: Absolutely not. The conference is a mischievous event that has not been convened in an open, all-inclusive manner. It does not meet the threshold of honesty. You cannot speak of uniting Mt Kenya by alienating others.

There is no Mt Kenya unity talks that can go on without the attendance of former President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua. It is in those two’s differences that we are not united.

The agenda items as issued through social media are not our priority and have been designed for purposes of creating more political wrangles in the Mountain.

Q: What would be your ideal Limuru III agenda?

A: Our current problems are economic, not political. We have a government in place duly installed as per the rule of law. What we need is to come up with an action plan of attaining economic gains.

We need to declare the industries that we want for our people and talk about how our traders will escape the crushing taxation noose.

How our agricultural produce will get value addition and markets. We want a conversation that seeks to move Mt Kenya region to the aspirations of Vision 2030. 

Any debate outside economic emancipation is defeatist. Any Mountain unity forum convened without all spheres of representation is just a petty drive.

We need Majority Leader Kimani Ichung’wah and Budget and Appropriations Committee chair Ndindi Nyoro in that meeting. Uhuru Kenyatta must also be there. It will happen soon, but not now 

Q: You have met Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua?

A: I have met his emissaries about Mt Kenya unity and we are in the process of meeting constructively. He is an important denominator in Mt Kenya region, whom you dare not rule out.

Anything is absolutely possible for a man in his office. It is not in our own broader interests to fight him. But that does not mean what we have in him cannot be made better by pitching for alternative leadership.

Mt Kenya unity should not be about placing all our bets in one throw of dice. We must have a conversation about how the Mountain will approach 2027 and 2032. We must approach those two united.

Q: You recognise President William Ruto’s presidency?

A: Why not? All realists are obliged by both the law and common sense to recognise him as the President. He was the outright winner in Mt Kenya region. Decorum and civility demands that we respect institutions. He defeated us yes.

How he defeated us is a matter of great dispute. But our legal processes installed him and we have a government in place that we must submit to. Our duty is to thoroughly oversight him against going rogue. 
His tax policies are signs of going rogue.

Peter Kenneth

Former Gatanga MP Peter Kenneth.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

It is from Ruto government that we as Mt Kenya people are demanding our rightful share of development, and good governance nationally.

This government must deal firmly with the corrupt in its ranks and cease all forms of discrimination and witch-hunt. If it does not change its lying culture, his is not a government that we will need in 2027. It must exit our lives.

Q: What exactly is your position in pursuing that goal?

A: Together with those whom we share a common dream for Mt Kenya and the country at large, we will keep up the pressure.

We are going to be up and about telling the government that it is choking us with reckless taxation measures, thoughtless war on counterfeits and red tape in cargo clearance.

Taxing agricultural produce even before offering value addition and markets is unacceptable.

I have worked in the national treasury for eight years and I can tell you for free that Ruto’s tax appetite has no room in sound economic standards.

Q: Are you still in Azimio?

A: That is nostalgic. It is in Azimio where I emerged second in the running mate interviews. Kalonzo Musyoka my friend was first. But things happened and we lost the elections.

That was a contest formation that believed it had a solution to better this country.

That desire to better the country is still there but not exactly as Azimio. We are looking for options to expand the Azimio dream to be more encompassing and effective.

Look out for a brand new alliance between former Azimio luminaries in Mt Kenya and the rest of the country, including the Tawe movement in Western region. 

Q: Are Uhuru Kenyatta and Martha Karua still your seniors in Mt Kenya politics? 

A: Of course not. We all went different ways. Mr Kenyatta remains a respected statesman who did his part when it lasted. A community should have two he-goats; one for the fields and one for future breeding.

We have several future political he-goats. As for Ms Karua, she is a solid politician... I still respect her space in our politics. It is all about democracy.

Everyone of us including our 2022 presidential candidate Raila Odinga is rebranding for the near future.