The year was 2019! Kikuyu Member of Parliament Kimani Ichung’wah had apparently had enough of then-President Uhuru Kenyatta and decided to cut ties by blocking his phone number.
For more than three years now, the two have never spoken, with Ichung’wah now in the spotlight over his alleged involvement in the invasion of Uhuru Kenyatta’s Northlands farm in Ruiru, Kiambu County on Monday, March 27.
Speaking about the straw that broke the camel’s back, Ichung’wah said in October 2018 he made a contribution in Parliament about the lucrative betting industry in Kenya, remarks that did not sit well with Uhuru Kenyatta.
“The president then told me I had become arrogant, and that I was targeting him.
“Sometime in 2019, the former president called and asked why I was antagonizing him. He told me that I had to choose between him or Ruto. In his own words, if I can remember vividly, he said: ‘Ichung’wah, why are you fighting me’?” the National Assembly Majority leader narrated.
Ichung’wah told The Standard that this was around the time he was seen to be inclining towards the then-Deputy President William Ruto.
“It was then that I decided to block him (Kenyatta) on phone. That was in 2019. For more than three years now, I have never spoken with the former president. He has never tried to reach me using another line and I have never called him too,” said Ichung’wah.
The Kikuyu MP also spoke about his perceived bitterness toward Uhuru saying: “We (politicians from Mount Kenya) made him president, but he turned his back on us. He thought he made us (MPs and senators) who we are politically, but it was the other way round. He was elected because of us, we campaigned for him.”
Ichung’wah added: “I don’t exactly know why Kenyatta was so much against me. Maybe, in his mind, he was thinking that I was out to wrest Mount Kenya kingship from him. I remember telling him that I never had any ambitions to be deputy president, senator or governor. I was, and I’m still okay being an MP.”
Speaking about the ‘Northlands Invasion’, Ichungwah said he first heard about it on social media.
“I do not know anything about the invasion of the Kenyattas’ land. I first saw on social media the reports claiming that unknown people had invaded the former president’s farm. That was around 11:30 am. I had to wait for mainstream media to verify and file accurate reports. It was after a local TV station aired live footage of what was happening at the farm that I got to know that the incident had indeed taken place,” he said.
Asked if his March 20 comments might have triggered the invasion, Ichung’wah said: “I am a resident of Central Kenya, and I know what the people there are saying about the former first family. On March 20, I only relayed what the people of Mount Kenya had long been saying about the Kenyattas.”
On March 20, Ichungwah spoke about the Kenyatta’s expansive property, among them Northlands Fram.
“My brother, the former president Uhuru Kenyatta, if you want to be respected, then respect other people first. Respect other people’s property. If you don’t respect other people’s property, then we, the people of Mount Kenya, will ask you many questions about the huge tracts of land that you occupy, starting with your land on Thika Road near Ruiru,” the MP said.
“We’d, thereafter, ask you about your land in Taita Taveta and Nakuru. When a Kenyan’s property is invaded, then we will also invade your land, and ask homeless Kenyans to settle on them. Don’t think that only the ordinary Kenyan will lose property [during the demos]. Even you, will pay a price. That is my message to none other than Uhuru Kenyatta.”
Ichungwah now says his remarks were not meant to incite looters to raid Kenyatta’s land.
“If I am guilty of anything, then it is voicing what Central Kenya constituents think about the Kenyattas.”
He mentioned that he is open to investigations over his alleged involvement in the raid.
“I’m flattered to hear that people think I have a lot of money. If anyone suspects that I had a role to play in the Northlands farm invasion, then I’m open to investigations. The police can access my phone to establish who I spoke to, if I did any mobilisation, or which places I visited on or before Monday, March 27. I’m ready to have an investigations file opened against me.” Ichung’wah said.