Kenya 2022: Raila and Ruto chew the khat, but can they win over Meru County?

By Son Gatitu
Posted on Friday, 29 April 2022 13:06

John Kalunge Nguthari, a farmer, climbs a khat tree at his plantation in Maua near Meru
John Kalunge Nguthari, a farmer, climbs a khat tree at his plantation in Maua near Meru eastern Kenya August 20, 2014. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

For 20 years now, Meru County has aligned itself with the ruling regime, reaping benefits in government appointments and allocation of national resources. However, in the nine years of Uhuru Kenyatta’s presidency, residents of Meru have grown sceptical. They now find themselves at a crossroads: continue to align with Kenyatta or making a drastic shift -- as the rest of Mt. Kenya region has done. Which way will they jump?

It’s Tuesday morning, the weather is a mix of sunshine and cool air, fresh from the slopes of Mt. Kenya. Traffic is building up and impatient motorists are expressing their frustration. Welcome to the ‘hooting town’ of Meru, the headquarters of the biggest county (geographically) in the Mt. Kenya region.