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Kiraitu-Munya 'handshake' faces hostility

Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi

The ‘handshake’ between East Africa Community Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya and Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi faces hurdles, as the former governor’s supporters remained hostile to the latter.

This came to the fore as political leaders from Igembe agitated for the unity of the Igembe, Tigania and Imenti sub-tribes.

Mr Munya held a party on Sunday to celebrate his appointment by President Uhuru Kenyatta, but his supporters displayed hostility towards the Kiraitu government, which they said treated them unfairly.

The rally at Maili Tatu was attended by MPs Maoka Maore (Igembe North), Josphat Kabeabea (Tigania East), Kawira Mwangaza (Woman representative), former Minister Jackson Kalweo, and more than 20 members of the county assembly.

But the crowd remained hostile to speakers who appeared to be supportive of the county government in spite of calls for unity by the MPs and Mr Kalweo.

Mr Munya said he would obey President Kenyatta’s call for unity between him and Kiraitu, but asked the county government to ensure employment and other government resources were distributed fairly.

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Munya, who lost to Kiraitu, got most of his votes from Tigania and Igembe regions, but Kiraitu emerged victorious due to the large number of voters in Imenti and Buuri, eating into Munya’s vote baskets of Tigania and Igembe.

James Mutia, Munya’s former chief of staff and acting county secretary, and now MCA Esther Karimi said the Igembes felt marginalised after many senior officials who served in Munya’s administration were laid off.

Mutia, a casualty, has a case against the administration after he was sacked.

Karimi said those from Igembe who were sacked should be reinstated in the “spirit of the handshake”.

“If the handshake (between Munya and Kiraitu) is to work then let those sacked be reinstated,” said Kairimi.

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