Kenya: Kiraitu, Maore Truce Could Muddle Munya's 2022 Plan

15 October 2020

Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi and Igembe North MP Maoka Maore have agreed to bury the hatchet in a move that is likely to shape the battle for the gubernatorial seat in the 2022 General Election.

Mr Maore, who is also the deputy majority whip at the National Assembly, and the governor have endured frosty relations for more than 20 years.

On the other hand, the lawmaker has been a close ally of Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya. Despite having contested the Igembe North parliamentary seat on the same party ticket as Mr Murungi in 2017, the MP supported Mr Munya -- a Party of National Unity candidate -- for governor.

So entrenched were their political and personal differences that Mr Maore and Mr Murungi have not shared a podium for years. In a surprise move, the lawmaker hosted the governor last week to discuss security challenges facing herders in regions bordering Isiolo County.

This was a departure from last year when Mr Maore accused Mr Murungi of using the launch of an earth dam in Ndumuru, Igembe North constituency, to scuttle plans for a water project.

Running escapades

"The presence of Governor Kiraitu Murungi is mischievous. He has nothing to do with the project. Let Kiraitu leave Igembe North affairs out of his aimless night running escapades," Mr Maore raved on his Facebook page in January 2019.

In an interview with a local TV station on Sunday, the MP termed his new relationship with the governor as a "handshake of sorts", alluding to the March 9, 2018 Handshake between President Kenyatta and the then National Super Alliance (Nasa) leader Raila Odinga.

To cement the handshake between Mr Maore and Mr Murungi, Igembe North constituency staff met the governor's chief of staff Gideon Kimathi to map out a working relationship.

"There is time for everything. We have not been in good terms for more than 20 years, but time has come to turn a new leaf," Mr Maore said.

"We are together. I've given Mr Munya a lot of support and no one should complain now that I'm working with the governor."

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