Karua, while appearing on Waihiga’s News Night show on Tuesday, September 14, was asked to clarify why there were so many Mt Kenya meetings and the demands from the region’s leaders.
Waihiga, in his question, implied that there were individuals who view the meetings and talks by the leaders from the mountain region as ill-intentioned.
“The country that we live in has been polarised in the past by accusations of ethnic alienation, 58 years or so since our independence and there are those who look at your talks and some of the meetings that you have been engaging under the auspice of the Mt Kenya unity forum.”
“They go on to say that these are attempts to solidify tribal hegemony or dominance in the country. How do you respond to those who are concerned about these meetings?” Waihiga asked.
Karua, a former Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister, complained that the media was biased on Mt Kenya, and did not call out other regions that are always meeting to discuss issues or importance to them ahead of the 2022 General Election.
“My response is that I am very disappointed by the framing of that question. I have not heard you, or this station or any other station say the same when pastoralists and other regions are meeting, or call the other economic blocs built around communities tribal. Why should it be different for Mt Kenya? If we demand equitable distribution of resources, who does not want that?”
“Economic blocs are formed around the communities of interests. Why should we not be able to sit down and make our demands? Some of our demands have a bearing on the rest of the country, like security, equity in sharing of resources,” Karua opined while defending the Mt Kenya politicians.
Waihiga, nonetheless, clarified that, despite Karua quoting the media and public obsession with Mt Kenya region, one would say that the region has produced three presidents and thus there is a perception that it has received a big share of the national revenue over the years.
“Could that be the reason a Mt Kenya meeting is taken with such seriousness?” he wondered while imploring Karua to explain why Mt Kenya was demanding so much from presidential aspirants.
Gatundu South Member of Parliament, Moses Kuria, had earlier on in the day demanded that those seeking to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta award 40 per cent of all senior jobs, from cabinet appointments to parastatals, to Mt Kenya region. Kuria stated that the terms were non-negotiable.
“Yes, three presidents have come from Mt Kenya region but we have not received favours. The fact that a president comes from a certain region does not mean the region gets favours. Mt Kenya people, just like other people, must get their share of resources.”
“I am from the Mt Kenya region and I do not know that positions are being shared evenly. It has been a case of who knows who and we have to start blaming individuals, not regions, for such appointments,” Karua played cagey, and declined to confirm nor refute Kuria’s demands to presidential hopefuls.
In 2018, the former 2013 Presidential Candidate openly declared her support for the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader, Raila Odinga, while expressing her opposition Deputy President William Ruto’s candidature.
In the Citizen TV interview on Tuesday night, September 14, Karua declined to state whether she held the same position and urged to be allowed to vet all other presidential candidates save for the two.
“That was 2018 and people are digging up interviews of 2018 and utterances during the 2017 campaign. I like what people get interested in what I say, but why not go by with what I say now.”
“Allow me to watch the space and to pick my presidential candidate,” Karua defended self.