Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua and his Nyeri Town counterpart Ngunjiri Wambugu traded punches on Sunday over handshake politics just days after the Sagana meeting with President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Gachagua claimed that attacks on Deputy President William Ruto’s frequent tours in the country were malicious and hypocritical.
“About the Deputy President going about the country launching projects. There is nothing he is doing differently than what he was doing before 2013. No one complained that time. He doesn’t just go to places, he is invited,” said the Mathira MP.
But his Nyeri counterpart said DP Ruto was only popular in Mt Kenya region because President Kenyatta persuaded the vote-rich bloc to back him as his running mate.
“Uhuru Kenyatta sold Ruto to us. The day he will vie in Mt. Kenya as an individual is when he will realize that he is popular in the region because of the President, ” said MP Wambugu, who is one of the most visible members of the Kieleweke Jubilee grouping.
The Kieleweke faction is opposed to Dr Ruto’s presidential bid in 2022 while their rival camp, Tanga Tanga, has been seeking to build up grassroots support for the Deputy President.
The MP’s clash comes just days after the Sagana Lodge meeting where President Kenyatta met about 5,000 Jubilee leaders and members.
At the Sagana meeting, the Jubilee members wanted the President to address grievances touching on infrastructure as well as clarify on his relationship with Raila Odinga with whom they launched the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).
The BBI team, whose report is anxiously awaited, was born out of their March 9, 2018 handshake that ended political stalemate after the 2017 presidential elections in August and October.
The handshake seems to have driven a wedge between President Kenyatta and his deputy, who has not shied away from attacking Raila over his intentions.
Appearing on the Punchline show before the MPs debate, Nyandarua Governor Francis Kimemia said the Sagana meeting put the focus back on development, instead of constant politicking over 2022.
The former Cabinet secretary said the Mt Kenya region, while blessed materially blessed, need government intervention to effect reforms in the tea, coffee and milk industries.
Mr Kimemia decried poor road networks in his county, which he said is ranked as the eight richest in Kenya but has a huge population living under the poverty line.
“There are too many brokers in the coffee industry. It is driven by self interest. We need a force from the national government to market our tea, coffee and our other produce,” said Mr Kimemia.