Nyandarua Governor Francis Kimemia is optimistic that the Mt. Kenya region will produce the country’s next top leaders in the proposed governance system within the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).
Speaking on Saturday during the BBI rally in Meru, Mr. Kimemia who is also the Chairman of Governors from the Central Kenya region, said their numbers must count.
“We are 12 million people and over 7 million votes. Even if we don’t get the presidency, we won’t miss the number two or prime minister,” he said.
According to him, the Mt. Kenya region wants an expanded executive: President, Deputy President, Prime Minister and two deputies.
He refuted claims that there is a leadership vacuum in Central Kenya saying: “Hatuna vacuum ya uongozi. Kiongozi wetu Mt Kenya region ni Uhuru Kenyatta and we have no apologies. Wale wanasema kuna vacuum wajue.”
Joshua Kutuny, Cherangany MP reiterated his sentiments saying: “Nashukuru kwamba watu wa Central mmesema Uhuru ndiye kiongozi wenu na hawezi kurithiwa akiwa hai.”
Demands from the Mt. Kenya leaders according to Mr. Kimemia include one person, one vote, one shilling.
“Tusiwe marginalized yet we account for 30 to 35% of national GDP,” he said adding that the region should get no less than 45% of the national revenue every year and creation of a Mt Kenya region Development Authority.
He added that wards should be the units of development and allocated at least 30% of devolved resources within five years.
“We want proportional representation. All Kenyans should have a right to seek prosperity, invest and lead anywhere,” he said adding that there should be inclusivity for women and the youth.
He affirmed the region’s support for the fight against corruption and conclusion of such cases within 6 months.
Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi echoed Kimemia’s sentiments saying the Mt Kenya region has given Kenya a good standing which is why it is important to include its leaders in the BBI talks.
Tharaka Nithi Governor Muthomi Njuki took a swipe at those opposed to the BBI saying: “Kama dunia inaelekea mahali fulani na wewe unapinga, shauri yako.”
“Rais wetu ametuonyesha njia, tumfuate,” he added.
And according to Nominated MP Maina Kamanda, Nairobi leaders who hail from Mt Kenya are the ones who pushed for the Uhuru-Raila handshake.
“Vile Uhuru na Raila wameshikana ni tsunami. Ukikaa mbaya wanapita na wewe….Tangu Baba ashikane na Uhuru amekuwa mweupe na amepata kautambi,” he said.
Kamanda further opined that the BBI intends to unite Kenyans.
On her part; Priscilla Nyokabi, from the Women Agenda Forum in the Mt Kenya region, called for gender representation in the proposed Executive within the BBI plan.
“President akiwa male, Deputy awe female,” she said, adding that 15% of the budget be allocated to health and 10% to water.
Homa Bay Woman Rep Gladys Wanga also called for gender inclusivity saying: “Tunataka opposite gender rule, ikiwa Rais ni Baba, Deputy awe mama.”
“Teargas imepunguka na tunataka tuishi kwa amani,” she added.
Peter Muchiri, Chair People Living with Disabilities demanded that 5% of resources be allocated to PLWDs.
“We must also be represented properly both at the national and county level,” he said.