Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria on Thursday, July 30 claimed that Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga had set in motion a plan to desert President Uhuru Kenyatta and the famous March 9, 2018 handshake on the steps of Harambee House.
He spoke during the burial of Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro‘s grandmother, Waririmu Kihoro, in Gaturi, Murang’a County.
Citing the voting in the Senate on Tuesday, July 28 on the controversial third basis Revenue Allocation Formula, Kuria observed that a majority of Senators who voted against an amendment that would have seen the formula sail through were from the Raila Odinga-led National Super Alliance (NASA) opposition coalition.
Kuria claimed that despite Raila declaring his support for the third basis formula, he had abandoned President Uhuru Kenyatta‘s development agenda and planned to use the handshake for political expediency, with one eye on the 2022 Presidential election.
File image of Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria
“Mr. President, I had warned you about this man (Raila). If he is really standing with you, and he is so powerful, why couldn’t he tell the 18 allies of his to support the amendment?
“This is like a man who is running after your father for a title. Raila is trying to snatch a title from President Uhuru Kenyatta,” he stated.
Kuria maintained that they would not waver in pushing the ‘One Man, One Vote, One Shilling’ principle long advocated for by leaders from the President’s Mt. Kenya backyard.
Explaining his notion, Kuria argued that several North Eastern counties, with a combined total population less than that of Kiambu County, received more in revenue allocations under the current formula.
Recent comments by leaders including Senate Minority Leader James Orengo and Majority Leader Irungu Kang’ata had fueled speculation that the handshake could be on its deathbed due to the sharp split over the revenue formula.
Kang’ata had asked ODM Senators to choose between the formula and the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) borne out of the handshake, while Orengo blamed the stalemate on President Uhuru not being accessible to leaders like his predecessor Mwai Kibaki.
Leaders from historically marginalized areas, particularly Coastal and North Eastern counties, have vowed to reject any formula that will see them lose out due to the new parameters. Parameters given the highest priority in the new formula are population and county functions.
Speaking to Kenyans.co.ke on Friday, July 31, political analyst Herman Manyora, however, dismissed the assertion that the handshake would collapse over the issue. He predicted that Senators allied to Uhuru and Raila would eventually fall in line and do what their party leaders expect.
“There’s nothing like the handshake being on its deathbed over this issue. You have to understand this is an early dance, the real dance is yet to begin.
“At the end of the day these leaders will do what Uhuru and Raila tell them,” he maintained.