A day in politics is a lot of time and there are no permanent political enemies.

With less than a year to the 2022 General Election, the presidential contest is tailoring into a two-horse between Deputy President William Ruto and ODM leader Raila Odinga.

This means the Mt Kenya region, which has had a strong presidential candidate since 1992, is technically out of regional blocs that could produce the fifth President.

This further implies that it will be difficult to put all the votes in one basket, hence reducing the Mountain’s traditional numerical strength.

Now that Ruto and Raila are the frontrunners, leaders, and politicians from the region have split down the middle.

Most of the elected MPs have thrown their weight behind the second in command while almost all governors, Cabinet Secretaries (CSs), and senior civil servants have declared their support for the former Prime Minister.

Although the DP’s United Democratic Alliance (UDA) wave is perceived to be very strong on the ground, some political leaders have vowed to stick with Raila even if it means losing their seats.

Governors Kiraitu Murungi (Meru), Lee Kinyanjui (Nakuru), Nderitu Mureithi (Laikipia), Francis Kimemia (Nyandarua), James Nyoro (Kiambu) and Muthomi Njuki (Tharaka Nithi) are rooting for Raila.

MPs Kanini Kega (Kieni) and Nominated lawmaker Maina Kamanda have been the most vocal in the former Premier’s campaigns although others like Sabina Wanjiru Chege (Murang’a Woman Rep), Ngunjiri Wambugu (Nyeri Town), Jonah Mburu (Lari), Muturi Kigano (Kangema) and Wanjiku Kibe (Gatundu North) insist they are behind Raila.

Others have continued to affirm their support for President Uhuru Kenyatta, but are cautious to endorse Raila.

In at least two rallies in Mt Kenya, the President has indicated that he will back the opposition leader after falling out with his deputy.
Kanini recently maintained that he will not stop supporting Raila even if it means he will not retain his seat.

Governor Kinyanjui has also pronounced himself on the 2022 State House contest, stating that his support for Raila is not halfhearted.

The county boss is among politicians, who have been mentioned as possible running mates for the former Prime Minister.

However, some allies of the DP have been claiming that those who are supporting Raila now will switch camps next year and rally behind the second command.

According to Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua, “the ground is anti-Raila. Most of the leaders who have endorsed the former Premier will cross to the DP’s side early 2022.”

All said and done, all indications point out that Mt Kenya could be a key battleground, especially if President Kenyatta back the ex-Premier.

By Lit Kenya

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