An ugly drama ensued at the grounds of Riamukurwe/Gatitu/Muruguru water project offices when a charged Nyeri Town MP Ngunjiri Wambugu slapped Muruguru MCA Simon Muturi in presence of the chief guest Devolution CS Mwangi Kiunjuri, National Irrigation Board chairman Joshua Toro, Nyeri county women representative Rahab Mukami, top officials of the two levels of government in the county, church leaders and members of the public.
Kiunjuri arrived at the venue at about 11am and before the public meeting commenced, he commissioned the Sh256 million water project for residents of Muruguru, Riamukurwe and Gatitu sub locations for irrigation use and domestic consumption. The project is funded by the government and was founded by departed PCEA retired moderator Bernard Muindi.
Kiunjuri asked the master of the ceremony ex-civic leader John Kabue to allow him to speak first because he wanted to deliver an urgent and important message before the meeting could officially kick off.
Consequently, the CS was given chance to deliver his message. Upon taking the podium, Kiunjuri eloquently told the meeting that he had gathered some intelligence to the effect that some elected leaders in the area who subscribe to either Tanga Tanga or Kieleweke political groups had planned a showdown at the venue.
Kiunjuri pleaded with the members of the public not allow themselves to be incited by such leaders and disrupt the function. He also said, the meeting would be addressed by five speakers who included project chairman, area MCA, Mukami, area MP and himself and since the area lawmaker Ngunjiri Wambugu had not arrived, a nominated MCA who is also close aide of the MP Julia Wanjiku would take his chance and finally the chief guest Kiunjuri be the last speaker.
But before he could finish his brief speech Ngunjiri arrived in style escorted by a convoy of about 100 motorbikes hooting as seemingly drunken riders shouted pro-Kieleweke slogans as well as shouting unprintable epithets at Tanga Tanga supporters. The CS had no choice but to leave the pondium as unruly youth surged towards him. The CS took his seat before Ngunjiri could also take his seat.
The MP never bothered to greet fellow guests at the dais including Kiunjuri. Some bit of calm reigned at the meeting for a little while before it turned chaotic once again. Each and every side of Kieleweke and Tanga Tanga supporters tried all to outdo each other by heckling and at one time, the incident turned physical as marauding young men and women went berserk throwing chairs as missile to each other.
In the ugly stampede, an unruly young man threw a heavy blow on the stomach of Ngunjiri who in turn delivered a heavy slap on the face of the youthful area MCA Simon Muturi as the MP’s hired goons kept on beating him before he was quickly rescued by Kiunjuri’s bodyguards who drew their pistols to scare away marauding goons who behaved like dogs of war.
Kiunjuri and the MCA were driven in high speed in the official silver metallic Prado TX belonging to the cabinet secretary to unknown destination for safety. The MCA lost one shoe in the melee.
Former project chairman Wachira Muchemi, 84, was evacuated from the dais as the orgy persisted and he was taken to the project offices before he was whisked away by security men to safety. The former chairman had said opening prayers before things turned haywire.
Shaken women representative Mukami declined to attempt to address the chaotic meeting. She is a vocal diehard supporter of the deputy president William Ruto and Tangatanga wing. Other politicians in Tangatanga included MPs Rigathi Gachagua (Mathira), Gichuhi Mwangi (Tetu), Githiaka Kiai (Mukurweini), Gichuki Mugambi (Othaya) and Kanini Kega who is now in kieleweke and has joined Ngunjiri. Other leaders in the county who are adherents to Tanga Tanga include senator Ephraim Maina Governor Mutahi Kahiga and Chinga ward MCA Kuruga Thuku. Uniformed and plain clothes policemen were later spotted patrolling the nearby Gatitu shopping centre armed with lethal weapons, teargas canisters and equipped with anti-riot gear in several patrol vehicles a lot more later after the meeting ended in disarray.
Other information says that Kahiga and some other local leaders avoided the meeting as they had intelligence information that the meeting would be marred by chaos. The embattled governor was said to be in a low key social function in Nyeri town while Rware ward MCA Gachuhi Kanyari sneaked out of the meeting when chaos erupted.
Several political, spiritual community and business leaders have condemned the ugly incident. They include national chairman of Amani Kwa Wote peace lobby group Mwati Kariuki, Rev Phoebe Nyaruai, Bishop Titus Kirongothi, Kanu Nyeri women leader Mary Gathimba, Mathira politician Nderitu Githae Macheru. They called on the government to immediately constitute a commission to probe the ugly incident.
After the chaotic meeting ended, Mukami joined Kiunjuri for lunch at Nyeri Golf Club before they parted ways with the CS going to play golf and Mukami leaving for other engagements elsewhere. Upon concluding playing golf late in the evening, Kiunjuri was spotted far off from the club house engaged in long telephone conversations punctuating them with “yes sir”.