Gikuyu is the best girl and she does not go loitering in town. She is found and got from their home. But some want us to marry her off just like that at mandazi prices. It can’t be. The due process must be followed
Kieni MP James Mathenge Kanini, popularly known as Kanini Kega, was the only MP in Nyeri county to be reelected in the 2017 general election.
And when the handshake happened on March 9, 2018, he emerged as among the key lieutenants of President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM’s Raila Odinga as others backed DP William Ruto.
If his mobile ringback would mean anything, it is his loyalty to the President. It is of Uhuru’s swearing-in.
And as the 2022 general election beckons, Kanini has fully aligned himself with the pro-Raila team, which has the backing of President Kenyatta.
On July 2, he hosted Raila at his Kieni home after attending the burial of Mama Esther Ngonyo, the mother of Mumbi Ng’aru, a long-time ally of the ODM leader.
On Tuesday, Kega said Raila deserves to be rewarded because the country is experiencing peace, following his handshake with Uhuru.
“We as Kikuyus or the people of Mt Kenya, we remember that in 2002, you walked from Serena [Hotel] to Uhuru Park and declared Kibaki Tosha and he became President. We have not forgotten. We also recall that when the colonialists offered to grant Kenya independence while Mzee Jomo Kenyatta was in detention, your father [Jaramogi Oginga] declined until Kenyatta was released,” Kega said.
“So as a young MP, I request you to tour Central. We welcomed you in Nyeri, you have been welcomed in Murang’a. We want you to visit all parts of Central because in 2002, we called you Jamba, which means you are a leader. We have not given our votes to anybody and we are waiting for you.”
Kega spoke in Gatanga, Murang’a county, where Raila was the Chief Guest at a Skiza thanksgiving ceremony.
This was a repeat of what he said during Mama Ngonyo’s funeral.
And why is he among the few but vocal allies of the President?
Kega believes it is President Kenyatta who will give the direction the community will take when he convenes what are now called Sagana State Lodge meetings.
He is opposed to the manner in which Mt Kenya region politicians are “marrying off their girl” without following due process, in reference to DP Ruto’s 2022 presidential bid.
“Gikuyu is the best girl and she does not go loitering in town. She is found and got from their home. But some want us to marry her off just like that at mandazi prices. It can’t be. The due process must be followed,” Kega said, referring to pre-2022 negotiations before endorsing any presidential candidate to have a stake in the next government.
Among the first beneficiaries of Mathenge Foundation are two girls who are joining Maryhill and Pangani Girls, who on Friday he helped to shop for school. The foundation, he said, will pay their secondary school fees and when they pass their KCSE, will also fund their university education.
In regards to Jubilee Party infighting following the loss in Kiambaa, Kega called on the top officials to resign.
He named deputy secretary Joshua Kutuny, acting executive director Wambui Gichuru and director of communication Albert Memusi as the only officials to be saved the chop.
Effectively, Kega meant those to resign include secretary-general Raphael Tuju, chairman Nelson Dzuya and vice chairman David Murathe.
The Kieni legislator was born in Watuka village, Nyeri, in 1972, schooled at Muthuini Primary School between 1979-88 and joined Chinga Boys High School for his secondary education between 1989-92. He later joined the University of Nairobi for his Bachelor of Arts between 1994 and 1998.
Kega immediately joined employment at Kenital Limited as a sales and marketing executive after completing university in 1998. He worked there for a year and joined Solagen Limited in the same capacity until 2004.
He formed Power Options Limited, an electric utility company, in 2004.
Kega was elected Kieni MP in 2013 on the TNA ticket and is now the chairman of the Budget and Appropriations committee.
But he would catch national attention when he chaired the parliamentary committee that investigated the sugar importation scandal.
Kega, who was then the Trade, Industry and Cooperatives committee chairman, had his sugar report thrown out by MPs.
In his push back, Kega accused some of the MPs of receiving bribes to reject the report that implicated senior individuals in government.
“The MPs were aggrieved by the fact I had mentioned people in power who are involved in the unscrupulous trade of illegal sugar hence the reason they rejected my report within 20 minutes without reading it. It was a predetermined move,” Kega said.
Among those mentioned in the import of contaminated sugar included then National Treasury CS Henry Rotich, East African Community Cabinet Secretary Adan Mohamed who was then in charge of the trade docket, and former Agriculture boss Willy Bett, who is Kenya’s High Commissioner to India.
Away from politics, Kega values education and one of the students he sponsored at Kagumo High School, Dennis, scored an A in the 2020 KCSE exam.
Dennis had in 2017 scored 403 marks from Kimahuri Primary School but couldn’t join his dream school due to lack of fees.
Kega offered to educate him, and following his top performance at Kagumo, the MP offered to pay for his university education.
This led to the formation of the Imani Mathenge Foundation, named after his son, to assist bright but less privileged children in Kieni pursue their education.
At an impromptu fundraiser at his Kieni home during the celebration of Imani’s right of passage, Sh5 million was raised to support the cause.
Among those present were ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi, governors, MPs and other politicians.
Among the first beneficiaries are two girls who are joining Maryhill and Pangani Girls, who on Friday he helped to shop for school. The foundation, he said, will pay their secondary school fees and when they pass their KCSE, will also fund their university education.
His priority areas have been education, in terms of funding, infrastructure development and improvement of roads in the constituency.
Kega will be seeking a third term through his “Kanini Kega Season 3” campaign which launched on Friday.
Courtesy The Star