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BY ANN MUNENE,9TH JUNE,2019-Several leaders from Meru and Tharaka- Nithi County have vowed to back Deputy President William Ruto for presidency come 2022 general elections .
The leaders who spoke on Sunday however asked the DP to pick National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi as his running mate.
Meru Senator Mithika Linturi, MPs Kirima Nguchine (Central Imenti), Mugambi Rindikiri (Buuri), John Paul Mwirigi (Igembe South), Gitonga Murugara of Tharaka, said Mt Kenya East voted as a bloc and should have one of their own as the deputy president.
Speaking at St Mathews Mariene AIPCA Church, in Imenti Central, Meru County, the legislators said they had supported leaders from the larger Central region and it was the time for them to reciprocate.
Mr Linturi said it was important to openly debate the 2022 succession to enable the region prepare to position itself when President Uhuru Kenyatta retires.
“It is no longer a secret, the Constitution does not allow President Kenyatta to run in 2022. We should not shy away from discussing the 2022 politics. We should support our people since this region has good leaders who can promote their welfare,” he said.
Mr Linturi further called upon the Gema community to rally behind the leader that Mt Kenya East will select so as to reciprocate the support the Embu, Meru and Tharaka-Nithi has been giving to Central Kenya.
Mr Murugara said since Mr Muturi was third in command and should automatically assume the deputy president’s post.
Mr Kirima, who is also the AIPCA Church chaplain said Jubilee had campaigned together with the promise of ensuring continuity once President Kenyatta retires.
“Jubilee had a 20-year manifesto and the first 10-year term is ending. We want to support Dr Ruto. Once he moves from number two to number one, the one in number three should automatically move to position two,” Mr Kirima said.
Mr Muturi, who remained silent on the matter , gave Sh500,000 from Dr Ruto and his own donation of a similar amount.
The leaders also criticised proposed motion seeking to limit harambee contributions to Sh100,000, saying the move would derail development.
On his part Mr Rindikiri said the church still needed donations and urged Dr Ruto and other politicians who are giving though harambees to continue doing so.
“Those seeking to put a Sh100,000 cap on contribution are enemies of development and will not succeed,” he said.