BY PETER KARANJA
A journalist in one one of the leading news rooms described him as a strikingly intelligent man.
The scribe described him as a brilliant mind, a lad who will not be caught digressing into careless political verbiage that has become the currency of trade in our politics.
The journalist was describing Laikipia governor Nderitu Muriithi – after listening to him at a recent Azimio La Umoja rally.
But did you know that Nderitu Muriithi – a graduate of Economics and Finance from the St. Francis Xavier University in Canada – worked with former President Mwai Kibaki to achieve excellent economic reforms in Kenya? Well, now you know.
Muriithi was involved in the development of policy and law related to finance and economics such as legislation governing establishment of credit bureau, interest rates, taxation and other fiscal measures in Kenya – during the Kibaki reign.
Muriithi, who was elected governor in 2017 on an Independent Ticket is the current finance, planning and economic affairs committee chairperson in the council of governors.
The former Alliance Boys High School student is renown economist and financial markets expert with over 24 years’ experience in leadership and management in Kenya, South Africa, Canada and Australia.
He has spearheaded numerous financial market strengthening initiatives across African countries covering establishment of credit sharing and scoring institutions, improved bond market function, expansion of mortgage markets, and even growth of women-owned enterprises.
It is little wonder that Raila Odinga team has picked him as the chair of the board of the Raila Odinga 2022 Campaign.
First governor to come out to support Raila
Muriithi and Nakuru governor Lee Kinyajui were the first Mt Kenya politicians to endorse Raila Odinga candidacy in Central Kenya.
Muriithi showed that he believed on a Raila candidacy – and would later be joined by the likes of Francis Kimemia (Nyandarua), Kiraitu Murungi (Meru), Muthomi Njuki (Tharaka Nithi), Martin Wambora (Embu) and James Nyoro (Kiambu) in spreading the Raila chorus atop the mountain.
All Central Kenya governors save for Kirinyaga Anne Waiguru, who previously supported Raila, and Mutahi Kahiga of (Nyeri) have shown support for Raila.
Political pundits have argued that Muriithi’s appointment could be a well intended plan to rebrand Raila to make him appeal to the Central Kenya voter.
The likes of Suna East MP Junet Mohamed may have to take a back seat especially after many of Raila’s supporters from Central felt that he was a rather careless talker.
The appointment comes just weeks after Infotrak opinion polls released in December 27, 2021, showed that Raila’s popularity was growing in Central, with Ruto losing significant ground.
The same polls showed that Raila’s popularity stood at 33 per cent while that of Ruto was at 32 per cent – meaning that Raila would win the elections if they were called in December 2021.