President Uhuru Kenyatta has asked Devolution Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri not to vie for gubernatorial seat in Laikipia.
President Kenyatta told the CS during a rally in Laikipia County not to leave the Cabinet for elective seat.
He said he wanted Mr Kiunjuri in the Jubilee administration for ‘political defence purposes’.
The Devolution and Planning Cabinet Secretary had tipped at quitting government to vie for Laikipia gubernatorial seat.
Speaking in Nanyuki town on Saturday evening during Voter Registration Drive exercise, the Head of State discouraged residents from calling the CS back to active politics.
“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’s top seat with incumbent Joshua Irungu, deputy governor Gitonga Kabugi, former Industrialisation 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’.
He said 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 the county chairman of Churches Council, said the devolved unit is underdeveloped and needs the CS in the top position.
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.
“This time I am sure I will win with more than 70 per cent. They will not complain of rigging as they did in 2007 and 2013. Our victory will be very clear,” said Mr Kenyatta.
Source: DAILY NATION