Why the Mount Kenya region is the darling of 2022 presidential hopefuls

ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi and Senator Moses Wetangula arrive at Kinyona Catholic Church in Kigumo, Murang’a. September 12. [Boniface Mithika, Standard]

There are less than 11 months until Kenyans vote to elect their next generation of leaders in August 2022. There will be a new president, but as it’s unclear who it will be, the aspiring “presidents” have launched campaigns intense with aspirants, especially in the Mount Kenya region.

President Daniel arap Moi has twice described the seductive politics as making unrealistic promises to a woman only to abandon it once she agrees; mambo kwisha. The voters of the mountains are made to accept that they are there for foreign political seduction.

The elite of mountain voters, generally confident, are uncertain and therefore vulnerable to seduction. They have to face three political realities.

First, their demographic advantage is rapidly shrinking as evidenced by the number of empty schools in the region. Second, they apparently subscribe to the crab’s philosophy of shooting each other. Third, mountain people need clear and advanced thinking in terms of socio-cultural and political self-defense in order to counter persistent but subtle anti-mountain hostility.

The highlanders seem confused, dazzled by many outside suitors and at the same time fear being left behind; used and discarded. Frightened by political unknowns, they embark on various stratagems to join and encourage competing external suitors. Since the invasion of external suitors also sent shockwaves, several potential internal suitors have appeared but they are struggling to stand out.

The “leaders” appear desperate and unstable, moving to and from the rival political camps of Raila Odinga and William Ruto, depending on the “terrain”. For a while, it looked like they could find an alternative to Justin Muturi, Speaker of the National Assembly. The logic behind the attempts to promote the Muturi alternative was the alleged unacceptability of Ruto and Raila, given their common past in the “Pentagon” and their involvement in nasty experiments targeting the mountain. There has been strong internal resistance to the Muturi alternative from other aspiring mountain “leaders”.

Future mountain rulers are curious and entertaining, but they tend to stumble along the way because they lack the excitement that external political seducers generate. They include Mwangi Kiunjuri from Laikipia, Mwangi wa Iria and Jimmy Wanjigi from Murang’a, and Peter Munya from Meru. Munya was among the first to reject the idea of ​​Muturi leadership. Wa Iria attracts attention in part through billboards and branded vehicles. He received publicity when police prevented his campaign of 70 brand cars from entering Nyandarua County. For his part, Wanjigi generates more curiosity due to his antics in his attempts to escape with the young people and to dislodge Raila from the direction of the ODM.

With potential leaders up the mountain in a political wasteland, the impression that there is a political vacuum encourages political suitors to increase the frequency of their flirtatious visits. Suitors make promises they don’t intend to keep but, as Moi noted, that would be political seduction, then mambo kwisha.


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