MERU, Kenya Sep 20 – Amani National Congress (ANC) party leader Musalia Mudavadi has called for political tolerance and the need to shun politics of hate speech.
Speaking on Sunday during his second day of Meru visit at Chabuene Methodist Church in North Imenti constituency, Mudavadi said drums of political violence have started to beat and called on the Church to preach peace.
Kenya will go to elections in August 2022 and succession politics have taken centre stage in the country as top leaders position themselves to take over from President Uhuru Kenyatta whose second and final term will end next year.
Mudavadi called on the Church leadership in the country to help with civic education of the people on the importance of electing leaders of integrity.
“The Church should help us in educating our people on the importance of electing leaders of moral standing to leadership. Without civic education, we will not be able to elect the right leaders,” he said adding that it only through good governance will the country realize economic prosperity.
At the same time, Mudavadi urged the youth countrywide to register as voters and be able to be part of political process of electing their leaders.
Mudavadi has been in Meru County for two days courting the region to back his 2022 presidential bid. He was hosted by Governor Kiraitu Murungi who assured him of his support.
At the same time, Mudavadi said his party will sponsor a motion in Parliament to give a new lease of life to some clauses contained in the rejected BBI Bill.
Noting that not all parts of the Bill were bad for the country, Mudavadi said some clauses like the introduction of the office of Official Opposition was good for this country.
He said much of the issues raised in the Bill that was shot down by the courts may be enacted through the parliamentary initiative, and that he will marshal his MPs to introduce motions on the same.
“On the BBI Bill, there are some issues that can be dealt with without going through the referendum. We can do something about such clauses that are good for this country. As a country, we must have an Opposition that can hold the government of the day into account. Multipatysim is good for a democratic government,” he said.
Speaking in Meru County over the weekend, the Amani party leader said he will also rally his troops in Parliament to table a motion seeking to review the Finance Act, 2021 that gave rise to an increase in tax affecting fuel.
He said the increased pump price will make life more difficult for a majority of Kenyans.
He said the Government cannot depend on high cost of fuel as a means of raising funds to meet its international and local debt obligation.
“Why is the Government paining Kenyans through increased fuel prices? It is because through petroleum products, it finds quick revenue to fix its debts. This is unacceptable,” said Mudavadi.
Mudavadi over the weekend was in Meru County in a meet-the-people tour of the region.
Welcomed by his host, Governor Kiraitu Murungi anda number of MCAs, Mudavadi held a series of meetings with elders and opinion leaders from the county where he echoed the message of peace as the country heads to next year’s General Election.
The Amani leader has intensified his campaigns in the Mt Kenya region where he has indicated that he is likely to pick his running mate from for the 2022 presidential elections.
In a meeting with Governor Kiraitu, Mudavadi said the Meru region holds an important part in the country’s political landscape.
Mudavadi said no region should be left behind in development, as the country’s economic growth depends on the development of all regions.
“Every part of this country should be developed and allocated resources in an equitable manner. No region should be left behind. We should be able to give the counties a minimum of 35 per cent of the national revenue from the current allocation of 15 per cent,” he said.
Mudavadi said his administration will open up more markets for the Miraa crop to enable the farmers reap more.
“I am here at the invite of Governor Kiraitu. The Meru have been my great friends and I am here to ask you for your support and walk together,” he said.
Mudavadi said the country has enough human resource to help it achieve its Vision 2030 economic development.
“If there is human resource that we require as a country, I know where to get it from; Meru. We have what it takes to stabilize and make this country great. As we head to the elections, all I can ask is we work and walk together towards making the country better,” he told residents in a town hall meeting.
The Amani leader said his administration will strive to make the country a better place where the rule of law is respected and the corrupt brought to justice.
“I want a country where every citizen is able to enjoy good healthcare. We need to do two things to tackle debts; seal corruption channels and budget according to our ability,” he said adding: “There is no dignity in poverty. We must do everything to uplift the lives of our people.”
Accompanied by former National Assembly Speaker Kenneth Marende, MPs Cleophas Malala, Alfred Agoi and Ayub Savula, Mudavadi said his government will invest in innovation, as he warned against electing leaders of integrity issues.
“If we are talking about policies to grow the economy, then we cannot trust a person who was in the kitchen preparing the soup, which got bad. How can we then trust such a person to start preparing another soup?” he said in reference to Deputy President William Ruto.
Kiraitu said the region is open for a Mudavadi administration if the region’s interests are taken care of.
“The people of Meru love your way of doing politics. You are not a person of hatred and abuse and our main interest is to know the kind of people we are supporting and what they will offer our region,” he said.
“Musalia is a history in our Meru land. He steered the economy from the murky waters when he was the Minister for Finance in 1993. He is rife and has what it takes to guide this country,” he added.
“I invited Mudavadi here because we want to change the politics of this region. There are people who have been visiting Mudavadi in Nairobi and return with a declaration that Meru people have decided. But as the governor, I declare that the Meru people will decide. I want him to sell his policies to the people of Meru and together we make Meru great,” said Kiraitu at a town hall meeting attended by among others a number of MCAs, former Ministry of Interior Principal Secretary Mutea Iringo, elders from the Njuri Ncheke and residents.
Kiraitu said the Meru people will define their own interests and not outsiders to decide for the community.
“We cannot protect our interests without a vehicle. You cannot have a serious business without a shop. We are going to have our own party, to help us negotiate for our interests,” he said adding, “The party is what we shall be using to talk through.”
Kiraitu demanded of the Musalia government to tackle issues of roads, water and agriculture, as he challenged him to initiate a parliamentary process to cut down on fuel prices.
On security, Mudavadi said every Kenyan should be able to live and work in any part of the country.
“We should not go into every election with anxiety and apprehension about our security. Let us target to have a smooth handover like we did in 2002. Our actions as politicians should look to protect all Kenyans and not broker chaos. I promise to protect all citizens and will deal mercilessly with those who aim to cause chaos in this country again,” he said.
He added: “Whether you come from the mountain, the valley, the lake, the coast or even a desert, you are a Kenyan first, so it is not right that we are always being divided along the lines of where you come from,” he said.
Present leaders maintained that the region is not a shop for anyone to walk in as they wish, and that Governor Kiraitu is the ‘entry gate’ to the Meru politics.
“Governor Kiraitu is our point man and Mudavadi has come through the front door to our region. We shall listen to his policies and where Kiraitu will direct us, we shall go,” said Iringo.
Former National Assembly Speaker Kenneth Marende said more investment needs to be channeled to the agriculture sector to make the country food secure, adding that the country needs visionary leadership.
“We need leaders who care more about our country. A leader who will revive our agriculture sector and ensure our miraa, sugarcane, maize and all farmers benefit from their sweat,” he said.
The country, he said, is in heavy debts that require practical solutions to fix.