Last week, the Kamba Nation was gearing at charting a new course after failing to realize its dreams in NASA. This was averred by former Machakos Senator Johnstone Muthama.
Making the announcement through a radio interview, Muthama said Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka will join forces with Deputy President William Ruto ahead of the 2022 General Election.
In a no-holds-barred morning interview with Musyi FM, a Kamba vernacular radio station owned by Royal Media Services, Mr Muthama said Dr Ruto and Mr Musyoka were currently in a similar political predicament, having been dumped by their respective coalition leaders.
The former senator claimed that both leaders were victims of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI), accusing President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga of using it to stifle the career prospects of the DP and Mr Musyoka.
Days later, Ruto’s scheme to penetrate Ukambani has triggered a bitter falling-out between the Wiper boss Kalonzo and Muthama.
Muthama, Kalonzo’s longtime ally and financier, has now called it quits and openly declared he will rally the region behind DP Ruto.
“I will ensure William Ruto becomes the fifth president of Kenya. And for the record, I am not being expelled from Wiper. I vomited Wiper in 2017, excuse me!” he said at a press conference on Thursday at his Gigiri home.
The move will trigger a scramble for more than 1.6 million voters in Lower Eastern that could tilt the scales in the 2022 General Election.
Kalonzo is also under siege in Ukambani from his other erstwhile lieutenants. Muthama and governors Charity Ngilu (Kitui), Kivutha Kibwana (Makueni) and Alfred Mutua (Machakos) are all positioning themselves to control the region’s politics.
The new dynamics will complicate Kalonzo’s efforts to tighten his grip on his backyard.
“Muthama has been a key pillar of Wiper financially and even in terms of mobilisation. His financial contribution cannot be gainsaid.”
Kenyan Report has established Kalonzo’s rejection of Muthama’s efforts to have him strike a 2022 deal with Ruto is at their heart of their acrimony.
Muthama has been quietly negotiating with Ruto to deliver Kalonzo but the former vice president rejected the overtures and instead signed a cooperation deal with President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee.
For more than a decade, Muthama has influenced Kalonzo’s political direction, from 2007 when he ran for president and teamed up with Mwai Kibaki the following year to become his VP.
In 2013 and 2017 polls, Muthama was a key deal maker in handing Raila the presidential ticket with Kalonzo as his deputy.
On Thursday, National Assembly Minority Whip Robert Mbui (Kathiani), a close Kalonzo ally, said Muthama’s bitterness stems from his failed bid to “auction Wiper to Ruto.
“Muthama had all along been telling Ruto that he will deliver Kalonzo to him until he realized that Wiper had openly signed a cooperation agreement with Jubilee. It was after that he started claiming that he left Wiper in 2017,” Mbui said.
Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo denied there is discord between Kalonzo and Muthama.
Mutula said Muthama has just decided to support a different presidential candidate.
“The notion that Muthama supports DP Ruto and not Kalonzo for the presidency does not mean Kalonzo is losing grip on Ukambani,” Kilonzo said.
He insisted that like many others who opposed Kalonzo and failed, Muthama would be embarrassed big time when the Wiper leader “finally vies”.