, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 13 – Environment Minister John Michuki`s endorsement of Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta as the Mount Kenya kingpin in the run up to the 2012 elections continued to elicit mixed reactions as MPs from the area differed over the declaration.
MPs John Mututho (Naivasha), Ferdinand Waititu (Embakasi), Simon Mbugua (Kamukunji) and Assistant Minister Kareke Mbiuki (Nithi) said Mr Kenyatta was the preferred leader of Central Kenya.
They argued that the Finance Minister has a better chance to succeed President Kibaki; saying that he is suited for the position as he is a good leader with a big vision for the country.
"Everybody knows that the only true leader who is acceptable across the board in all the communities is Uhuru Kenyatta; there is no need of us gambling on others," said Mr Mututho.
But as they spoke, two other MPs challenged Mr Kenyatta to publicly declare his stand instead of relying on proxies, after Mr Michuki kicked off the leadership debate at the weekend describing him as the region’s point man ahead of the 2012 poll.
Nominated MP Rachael Shebesh and David Ngugi from Kinangop said voters from the area know their way and would not be manipulated by any politician.
"It’s a shame to actually put the name of Uhuru Kenyatta into this kind of debate but I think sometimes he allows it. But as a young person I can tell you that if Uhuru doesn’t respond to what Michuki has said in a way that shows that he is a Kenyan leader looking for Kenyan votes, he will lose the youth constituency without a doubt," said Ms Shebesh.
Mr Kenyatta’s supporters have torn into Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua, accusing her of planning to divide the Central Kenya vote in 2012.
"We want to assure her that should she insist on going on her own with her Narc-K she will go extremely nowhere," Mr Mbiuki said. "We have also talked to Uhuru and told him if he decides to go on his own he will also be a non-starter."
The pro-Uhuru MPs who addressed a news conference at Parliament Buildings hinted at the revival of the Kikuyu-Kalejin-Kamba (KKK) Alliance.
"Even though Uhuru has never declared interest in the presidency, we are his handlers and we are pushing for it; we are also urging him to unite with others so that we can have a joint candidate. KKK is very much alive and it has even grown stronger after we recruited Eugene Wamalwa and others," declared Mr Mbugua.
On Sunday, Mr Michuki warned politicians from Central they risked being disciplined politically should they invite colleagues to seek votes without consulting Mr Kenyatta.
Ms Karua, who has declared her candidature for the presidency in 2012, rubbished Mr Michuki`s sentiment as archaic and dictatorial.