President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday met leaders from Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL) of Northern Kenya where a number of issues affecting the region were discussed, including 2022 politics.
The meeting saw the leaders push Uhuru’s government to announce the ongoing drought in Northern Kenya as a national disaster and to fast-track the implementation and release of the Equilization fund.
According to sources familiar with events at the forum, the president explained to the leaders present the importance of organizing themselves into a formidable political outfit, which will put them at the negotiating table with the rest of Kenyans.
”He was categorical, Kenyans need practical solutions and not hoodwinking by turn-coat leaders,” one source said.
Last week on Thursday, more than 20Mps from Northern Kenya announced the formation of Upya Movement as a vehicle to champion political interests of the region in 2022. In the 2013 and 2017 elections, the counties of Garissa, Mandera, Wajir, and Isiolo largely voted for Uhuru Kenyatta and his Jubilee Party.
The legislators were accompanied by top government officials led by Treasury CS Ukur Yatani, three Chief Administrative Secretaries, Principal Secretaries, three governors, and two senators.
”For all the people here today, we support our President Uhuru Kenyatta and the political direction that he is going to give to us, we support him, and we support his alliance,” CS Ukur Yatani said last week at Serena Hotel.
Today’s meeting also saw President Uhuru Kenyatta openly express to the leaders his 2022 choice for the top seat and giving his reasons for picking Raila Odinga as his preferred successor.