By The Weekly Vision Team
Last week’s re-launch of the once vibrant PNU party, an affiliate of the Azimio Coalition has sent many political heavyweights in the Mount Kenya region into panic. The return of former Meru Governor Peter Munya to the political mainstream cannot be ignored. Pundits say Mr Munya’s return does not only affect the Meru political landscape but the Mount Kenya region at large ahead of the 2027 elections.
Mr. Munya, who immediately after the 2022 elections took a political sabbatical, has now returned to the political arena, promising political fireworks. Sources say that ODM leader Raila Odinga is believed to have played a key role in ensuring that Munya returns to active politics now and the revamping of the PNU party. The big question is: What benefit will Mr. Munya’s return be to Raila Odinga? First, Mr Odinga needs a vibrant and steadfast politician from the Mount Kenya East region to push his agenda in the Meru and Embu counties. That person, according to ODM strategists, is Munya.
In the run-up to the last general elections, Mr. Munya was Odinga’s point man in the region; he was the Agriculture CS designate had Odinga won the presidency in 2022. For Azimio to gain political ground in the counties of Meru and Embu, Raila needed a fearless leader like Munya who would be bold enough to take on William Ruto head-on.
Munya’s brand of politics, according to analysts, is that of courage, fearlessness, and calling a spade a spade without fearing the consequences. Azimio lacked a leader from that region of his calibre, a man who could keep UDA politicians on their toes, hence Mr Odinga’s push for his return. Initially, Mr Odinga had hoped that Narc-Kenya leader Martha Karua would contain the UDA politicians from Mount Kenya, but she has failed, leaving UDA leaders from the region on a political field day. According to Azimio sources, the game plan is to make Munya more visible and ensure UDA’s presence in the region is minimal.
Politically speaking, the return of Mr. Munya has also caused panic in the Kawira Mwangaza camp. The fear is that Munya, being a former governor, has very strong structures in place and that once activated like the rebranding of the PNU party, he can easily bounce back to the big seat.
However, Kawira, who is also said to be contemplating joining UDA should she be assured of being given a direct ticket to defend her seat as governor, is also said to be plotting to work with other leaders to block Mithika Linturi and his allies from the gubernatorial race in 2027.
The 2027 gubernatorial elections in Meru will be too close to call. During the last election, Mwangaza garnered 209,148 votes, with Linturi coming in second with 183,859 votes. Kiraitu came in a distant third with 110,814 votes, and with Munya expected to join the race, it will indeed be a titanic battle that remains unpredictable.