Mithika Linturi, Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture and Livestock Development, has defended his friendship with Meru Governor Kawira Mwangaza, who is facing impeachment by the County Assembly. Mr Linturi stated that as a Cabinet Secretary, he will continue to work with all elected leaders regardless of political affiliation.
Linturi slammed those who criticized him for associating with the governor during a speech on Wednesday at Chuka University’s Kiegoi Campus Grounds in Igembe South Constituency while leading the National Tree Growing and Land Restoration campaign.
The Cabinet Secretary hosted Mwangaza, his former rival, at his office in Kilimo House in Nairobi on Tuesday, but he now describes the meeting as an official engagement focused on agriculture.
“Yes, I met Mwangaza in Nairobi, and I’ve heard some negative things about him. I’m a Cabinet Secretary, and I’ll keep working. “During our meeting, we agreed on critical issues such as desert locust invasions,” he added. Mwangaza ignited a political storm in Meru on Tuesday when she posted her picture with Linturi on her social media pages with a short caption “Meru Must Be Happy”.
The embattled governor was elected as an independent candidate in the last elections. The Senate has already decided to form an 11-member committee to investigate the grounds for Mwangaza’s impeachment. “The Senate resolves to form a special committee of 11 Senators to investigate the proposed removal of the Governor of Meru County from office and report to the Senate within 10 days,” Speaker Amason Kingi said during the Senate’s special sitting on Tuesday.
Linturi then planted trees at Nguthiru Laingi Grounds in Tigania West Constituency and Gatimbi Chief’s Grounds in Central Imenti Constituency.
He was accompanied by Gitonga Mugambi, the Principal Secretary for Water, Sanitation and Irrigation, Patrick Kiburi, the Cooperatives counterpart, Meru County Commissioner Frederick Ndunga, Mutuma M’ethingia, the Meru Deputy Governor, and MPs John Paul Mwirigi, Dan Kiili, Titus Taitumu, and John Mutunga, among others.
The tree planting campaign, which President Ruto launched on Wednesday in Kajiado County, is part of the government’s ambitious plan to manage, conserve, and expand forests sustainably in order to achieve a minimum 30% forest cover nationally by 2032.