As the Titanic steamed west along the ordained North Atlantic route, not even the most apprehensive of her passengers could have foreseen a problem with ice. The sky was blue, the winds light, and the ocean calm – perfect sailing weather.
What had been billed as a titanic pep rally turned out to be a pep rally on the Titanic.Facing accusations of lukewarm support for the Proposed Constitution and lack of a clear Kibaki succession strategy, Central Kenya leaders united under Gema to chart a way forward. Top on the agenda of caucus — dubbed Central Kenya Referendum Forum — was charting a new political course for the electorate during the August 4 referendum and subsequently the 2012 presidential elections. Majority MPs from the Mt Kenya region attended the Limuru meeting, which was chaired by the meeting’s co-conveners, retired Arch-bishop David Gitari and the Gikuyu, Embu, Meru Association (Gema) chairman Lawi Imathiu. Also in attendance were Rift Valley and Nairobi MPs who trace their roots to the region.
Leaders agreed to support and rally support for the proposed constitution as it “favoured” them politically and economically. Speakers cautioned the region’s leaders against gambling with the region’s political future by creating disharmony and disunity through competing interests. Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, who was put to task over his flagging leadership, told the meeting that they should unite and strive to gain parliamentary majority in 2012 to avoid the challenges President Kibaki faced “when he won the 2007 election” Prompted by the persistent demands that the region was crying for leadership, the master of ceremonies Dr Stephen Karau explained that the programme would be adjusted so Uhuru responds to the calls first, before a scheduled civic education session.
The hall erupted in rapturous applause and waving of green miniature flags branded ‘Yes’ when Uhuru said: “The unity of our people is important and equally important is that of the leaders. Kiraitu and I will now lead from the front and not from behind as it has been claimed.”During a media briefing at the close of the meeting, Karau told journalists that the forum had mandated Uhuru to lead the region’s push for the Proposed Constitution.Uhuru said the Limuru meeting marked a beginning of other similar consultations, adding that it was unfair that Gema meetings raised eyebrows.