What colour will Ngunjiri Wambugu assume next?

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Ngunjiri Wambbugu

By Emeka-Mayaka Gekara

When Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto flew to the International Criminal Court for the confirmation hearings of their case, an activist called Kimani Wambugu rallied like-minded allies to Uhuru Park where they staged a vigil for victims of 2007/8 violence. 

Back then, Ngunjiri was amongst the strongest proponents of the ICC cases. His view at the time was that the aggressive local and diplomatic campaigns against the UhuRuto case would deny victims justice, and figured the narrative around justice for victims was more critical. He was particularly against Ruto who was accused of perpetrating the violence in his Rift Valley backyard.

In fact, after the post-election violence, Wambugu founded an organization boldly named Kikuyus For Change, much to the chagrin of some of his tribesmen – notably Moses Kuria, now Gatundu MP. 

Coming in the aftermath of the violence in which members of the community suffered, Wambugu argued that his organisation was meant to encourage them to integrate with the rest of the country. The organisation was supposed to mobilise Mt Kenya youth to explain themselves to their peers elsewhere.

He obtained a lot of cash from the donor community, eventually endearing himself to Prime Minister Raila Odinga who appointed him ODM director in charge of strategy, or something along those lines. 

They stuck together until the 2013 elections in which Odinga lost. Then Wambugu shifted to the other side and become the greatest weapon for Jubilee as the Jubilee attack dog against Raila and the ICC. He hopped from one TV station to the other praising the Uhuru-Ruto alliance as the salvation that Kenya needed.

He argued that the ICC cases were fixed and that Raila Odinga was a vengeful dictator unfit to be president. In this, he found favourable company in Moses Kuria, Tony Gachoka and lawyer Miguna Miguna. This  hatchet work saw him elected as the Nyeri Town legislator.

iS THE YOUNG POLITICIAN FROM Nyeri reading from the Karume Kihika script or is his purely an act of self-preservation?

Today, in yet another dramatic change of tune, Wambugu is emerging as the spokesman of the Kieleweke Group whose main objective is stop Ruto from succeeding President Kenyatta.

He accuses Ruto of blackmailing the President that members of his community in Rift Valley will be hurt if he is not elected President in 2020. The Wambugu group has even called on the deputy president to resign over what they see as insubordination.

In an TV interview over Easter, Wambugu reminded Mt Kenya voters of the 2008 violence and those claimed to be responsible. This about-turn is not easy to understand.

Wambugu’s Kieleweke crusade mirrors the 1978 Stop Moi campaign waged by the late politicians Njenga Karume and Kihika Kimani.

One is then compelled to wonder, is the young politician from Nyeri reading from the Karume-Kihika script or is his purely an act of self-preservation? (

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