By Stephen Makabila
Opinion is sharply divided on the implications of Ngilu’s State House bid on the VP’s fortunes in his home turf ahead of the March General Election.
While Kalonzo’s allies dismiss Ngilu’s bid as inconsequential, the Narc party leader’s point man Kiema Kilonzo says the VP should expect ‘battle royale’. “It is no longer business as usual. Let them meet us on the campaign trail, but lower Eastern is in our control,” Kiema told The Standard On Sunday ahead of today’s re-launch of Narc.
But Mr Makali Mulu, the Wiper Democratic Movement chairman in Kitui Central, argues that the Vice-President is popular even in Ngilu’s own constituency.
“Let them boast but even in her own Kitui Central constituency, you cannot rule out the Kalonzo wave,” added Mulu, who is seeking to succeed Ngilu as the next area MP.
The immediate former Wiper point man in Nyanza Anthony Kibagendi, who earlier in the week defected to ODM, says Ngilu’s entry into the presidential race could complicate matters for Kalonzo in lower Eastern. “I have been a WDM insider before my defection less than a week ago. I know the VP may face some distractions in that region if Ngilu keeps her word to run for president,” added Kibagendi.
Kalonzo has been playing down political intrigues in his lower Eastern backyard, venturing out to seek national support for his second presidential bid.
When he spoke soon after being blessed by members of the Kamba Council of Elders at a rally at Kitui Stadium in July, Kalonzo said he was emboldened and was going for nothing short of the presidency.
The blessing was skillfully orchestrated and came at the end of a tour of Eastern counties by the VP and his Wiper allies in what political observers viewed as a scheme to ‘insulate his home votes’.
“After the blessing, I am fully prepared for the grueling battle to secure the future of this country,” the VP declared.