A row has erupted among Mt Kenya politicians over the 2022 succession with leaders from Meru and Embu asking their central Kenya counterparts to support them or else they go separate ways.
The rivalry pits Mt Kenya leaders from the eastern region including Meru, Isiolo, Tharaka Nithi and Embu against their counterparts in central Kenya and the Rift Valley.
Leaders from Meru argue that under the Gema banner, Meru has supported three presidents from central -- Jomo Kenyatta, Mwai Kibaki and Uhuru Kenyatta -- since independence.
"We are very clear this time. We expect central Kenya to support a person from Mount Kenya East in 2022 without fail," said Tharaka-Nithi Woman Representative Beatrice Nkatha.
Mt Kenya East leaders want central Kenya to let them produce the presidential running mate candidate in 2022. "We believe central Kenya, which has produced three presidents with our support, will in 2022 support Prof Kindiki as Ruto's running mate," said Chuka/Igambang'ombe MP Patrick Munene.
Prof Kindiki said although it was the discretion of DP William Ruto to decide who he wants as running mate in 2022, small communities within Gema should be given a chance to lead the country. "It is time central Kenya supported us. We have supported them for more than five decades," he said.
But leaders from Murang'a and Kiambu dismissed the assertions. "I wish the Ameru people well but the seat is remaining in central and specifically in Murang'a," said Murang'a Senator Irungu Kang'ata.
Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria said: "The people in Mt Kenya do not give a hoot where you come from as long as you can articulate their issues."
Narc Kenya Party leader Martha Karua termed the debate as retrogressive. Nyeri Senator Ephraim Maina and Kieni MP Kanini Kega said Mr Ruto should be left alone to choose his running mate if he runs for the presidency in 2022.
Reported by Ndung'u Gachane, Alex Njeru and Joseph Wangui