Uhuru rejects Kiunjuri’s request to leave Cabinet
President Uhuru Kenyatta has asked Devolution and Planning Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri not to vie Laikipia’s gubernatorial post.
He asked the CS infront of a crowd in Laikipia not to leave Cabinet for elective politics saying Mr Kiunjuri should remain in Jubilee government because he is among his strong political defenders in the country.
The CS has in recent times hinted his desire to quit government to vie for Laikipia gubernatorial seat.
Speaking in Nanyuki town on Saturday evening during a voter registration mobilisation exercise, the head of state urged the local electorates to allow Mr Kiunjuri to continue serving in the government.
“Allow me to have Mr Kiunjuri in government for the next five years. He is among my strong political protectors while crisscrossing the country. I will release him in 2022,” said President Kenyatta while exuding confidence of winning the August Presidential polls.
Mr Kiunjuri was to battle for the County top seat with incumbent Joshua Irungu, deputy governor Gitonga Kabugi, former Industrialization assistant Minister Nderitu Muriithi and former Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary Mwangi Thuita among others.
The President emphasized that he has no preferred candidate among the aspirants as they battle for Jubilee Party ticket.
Mr Muriithi said it would not be a smart move for Mr Kiunjuri to resign from government for politics saying the move would signal ‘lack of confidence in government’.
Mr Muriithi observed that the Devolution docket was third in hierarchy after Interior and Treasury.
However, earlier in the day the clergy in Laikipia County had urged Mr Kiunjuri to leave the Cabinet position and vie for governorship.
Reverend Peter Muikumi, who is county chairman of Churches Council, said the County is underdeveloped and needs the CS in the top position of the devolved government.
Meanwhile, the President complained of low voter registration in Meru and Laikipia counties.
He said majority of youths mostly school leavers in his strongholds are yet to be listed as voters and the occurrence will negatively affect his re-election bid.
“In Meru County about 550,000 youths are not registered. Kindly list your name with Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission to elect your leaders of choice and also elect me for second term in office,” he implored the crowd.
He also urged his supporters to turn out in large numbers during August elections to silence the Opposition and ensure rigging claims will not be raised.