Karua, Kioni and Wa Iria in battle for control in Mt Kenya

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Karua, Kioni and Wa Iria in battle for control in Mt Kenya

The political scene in Mt Kenya is seeing an intense battle for control of Azimio, with former governor Mwangi Wa Iria, Narc Kenya party head Martha Karua, and Jubilee party secretary general Jeremiah Kioni leading the charge.

Karua, Kioni, and Wa Iria, who played key roles in Azimio leader Raila Odinga’s presidential campaign in the area, are now at the center of a complicated and bitter war for control.

However, significant Jubilee members, such as nominated MP Sabina Chege and EALA MP Kanini Kega, have recently defected from Azimio to announce their support for Kenya’s Kwanza administration.

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Their decision to back President William Ruto’s administration has left Karua, Kioni, and Wa Iria as Azimio’s most visible supporters in the Mt Kenya area.

Individual objectives are clashing with common aims, causing splits in the alliance.

The schism within Azimio became obvious after Raila’s reconciliation with Ruto, which left Karua and Kioni dissatisfied, forcing them to pursue separate political agendas.

Their unhappiness culminated in the announcement of the Limuru III summit on April 19, indicating a probable split within the alliance.

Notably, Wa Iria’s absence from the strategy discussion in the Fiesta Hotel in Ruaka, Kiambu, showed Azimio’s growing internal differences.

Instead, Wa Iria has been observed linking himself with other political personalities like as Wiper party head Kalonzo Musyoka, DAP-K party leader Eugene Wamalwa, and Kanu leader Gideon Moi, signaling a move away from Karua and Kioni.

Meanwhile, Wa Iria’s vigorous campaigning, which includes the installation of multiple billboards featuring his picture and his party’s motto, “USAWA kwa Wote,” indicates a serious attempt to position himself for the 2027 presidential election.

Rumours have circulated that he may seek to deputize Kalonzo or Moi if Raila decides not to run for president.

Political observers believe Wa Iria’s attempts to seek support from other Azimio member parties, along with smart partnerships with major political players, point to a deliberate push for the presidency in the future years.

They say that recent occurrences, like as a Moi-hosted conference that brought together Kalonzo, Wamalwa, and Wa Iria, point to a realignment of political forces, and that the absence of Karua and Kioni speaks volumes.

Kiambu Senator Karungo Wa Thang’wa warned against early campaigning, emphasizing the need for Kenyans to concentrate on post-election recovery.

He suggested that rising tensions and early political maneuvering indicate that the war for Azimio dominance on Mt Kenya is far from finished.

Thang’wa dismissed the resurrection of Azimio in Mount Kenya, stating that the area completely supports Ruto and his deputy, Rigathi Gachagua.

“The politics of succession should end, this is the time for service delivery and post-election recovery for the sake of growth and development. If the general election is held today, Mt Kenya will still rally behind Ruto and Gachagua, ”he said.

According to political analyst Joseph Gachane, Wa Iria is attempting to benefit on the absence of former President Uhuru Kenyatta from Mt Kenya politics, as well as the current discussion about the region’s political kingpin.

“By rallying other Azimio member parties around him, Wa Iria hopes to garner support for his 2027 presidential bid either as a candidate or a running mate, potentially paving the way for his exit from local politics,” Gachane said.

He predicted future alliance adjustments, with the result likely to affect the region’s political trajectory in the run-up to the 2027 general election.

“The struggle for dominance between Karua, Kioni and Wa Iria underscores the complexities of coalition politics and the pursuit of power in Kenya’s dynamic political arena,” he said.

Gatanga MP Edward Muriu urged Mt Kenya leaders to avoid divisive politics and support the present government.

He urged politicians to put aside their political differences and embrace regional unity.

“Politics come and go but the unity of our people is paramount and we should forget any political affiliation and preach peace for the sake of our people,” Muriu said.

Former Ichagaki MCA Mwangi Ng’ang’a said that while the struggle for Azimio control heats up, the political landscape on Mt Kenya remains fluid, with alliances moving and new challengers forming.

“As the battle for Azimio control unfolds, Mt Kenya’s political landscape remains fluid, with alliances shifting and ambitions rising. The outcome of this power struggle will undoubtedly shape the region’s political trajectory and influence the dynamics of the 2027 elections,” he said.

Karua’s recent answer to Kalonzo’s allegation that she is not a credible contender for the 2027 presidential election revealed in conflict political goals.

Karua encouraged Kalonzo to focus on promoting his own campaign, emphasizing that people would eventually decide the best political leader.

“My suggestion to my colleague Kalonzo Musyoka is to concentrate on showcasing his own capabilities and let the electorate decide who they believe is the most qualified,” she said.

Kalonzo said in a recent interview with Taifa Leo that he is the best qualified candidate to head the Azimio coalition nationwide if Raila is elected as the next African Union Commission chairperson.

Gachagua advised politicians on Monday during an interview with Kameme FM not to engage in petty succession politics that may split the nation.

He encouraged Kioni and Karua to contact him about the reported Limuru III summit.

Gachagua asserted his status as a leading politician in the Mt Kenya area, stating that he must be informed about regional issues.

He emphasized his willingness to address regional concerns with leaders of all political backgrounds.

“I have heard about the Limuru III meeting. Both Kioni and Karua haven’t reached out to me as the senior-most politician in Mt Kenya. Being the regional leader, it falls upon me to convene such meetings. If they indeed have an agenda, my office doors are open, and they should feel free to reach out,” Gachagua said.

He said that if he is persuaded, he would support any gathering that seeks to promote peace to the area, regardless of political party.

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Karua, Kioni and Wa Iria in battle for control in Mt Kenya

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