Lands Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu has asked the Kamba community to stop being cowards and push for their interests in the Jubilee government.
She challenged the community to demand more services from the government because it provided the swing vote that led to Jubilee’s victory in the 2013 elections.
Mrs Ngilu told Kitui residents that the community needs to be aggressive and stop being too meek when making demands.
The CS, who served as Kitui Central MP for 20 uninterrupted years, said the Kamba community was being taken for granted and left out in national matters because of its peaceful nature.
She challenged the community to emulate what she described as communal activism of the Luo community as the meekness of area residents was costing them a lot.
“People in this region are extremely tolerant but that character can be a big disadvantage to the community,” she said.
Speaking during the burial of former ambassador, Prof Philip Maingi Mwanzia in Matinyani, Kitui County on Saturday, she asked leaders to unite and avoid infighting.
“This region provided the ‘plus one’ per cent vote on top of the 50 per cent garnered from other regions. It deserves equal treatment but it is up to leaders to unite and demand the community’s rights,” said Mrs Ngilu.
She said the government had not done enough for the Kamba community and urged leaders to submit petitions and memoranda on pressing issues for necessary action.
Speaking on the elections for the first time in the county since losing the Kitui senatorial contest, the minister said the 100,000 votes President Kenyatta received from the region helped Jubilee leaders avoid a runoff.
“We only have two and half years remaining for the country to go back to elections.
We need to set aside our political differences and ask ourselves what we have achieved for our community,” she said.
She added: “I’ll help where I can, but I ask every county to give me a petition on the pressing issues and I am sure we will achieve a lot if we work together as a community,” Mrs Ngilu said.
Her message of unity seemed directed to opposition leaders including her longtime political rival Kalonzo Musyoka, who was also present.
Other Cord leaders present included Kitui Senator David Musila, National Assembly Minority Leader Francis Nyenze and Woman Rep Nyiva Mwendwa.
Before she rose to speak and read President Kenyatta’s message of condolence, Mrs Ngilu and Mr Musyoka had a lengthy chat and could be seen laughing.