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‘Machakos camps’ could outstretch Muthama-VP bond

By - Updated Friday, January 25th 2013 at 00:00 GMT +3
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By Erastus Mulwa

MACHAKOS; KENYA: The election for the Machakos County governor could be the key test for the apparently strained working relation between Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka and Kangundo MP Johnstone Muthama.

Though the race is among candidates from three parties – Wiper Democratic Party, Chama Cha Uzalendo and Party of Democratic Unity – will the battle will be pro-Kalonzo and pro-Muthama camps. Interestingly, Kalonzo’s Wiper and CCU associated with outgoing Kathiani MP Wavinya Ndeti, who is seeking election as the county governor, are in the CORD alliance.

CORD brings together Wiper, Orange Democratic Movement, Ford Kenya and a host of other small parties with Raila Odinga as presidential candidate, Kalonzo as running mate, and Moses Wetangula as Leader of Majority in the Senate.

Loser decamps

Former Government spokesman Alfred Mutua (Wiper) will be facing off Ndeti (CCU) and Nairobi-based IT specialist Eng Titus Ndundu of PDU.

The disputed outcome of Wiper primaries last week, in which Dr Mutua defeated former Cabinet minister Mutua Katuku has handed Ndeti a psychological advantage.

Katuku, who suffered a humiliating defeat, decamped from the Wiper party, alleging the nominations were flawed and joined Ndeti’s camp.

Muthama has been a vocal opponent of Mutua’s candidature alleging he is a political project of Kalonzo. Mutua has dismissed the claims and accused Muthama of waging a smear campaign against him in favour of Katuku.

Generally, the contest in Machakos could strain Kalonzo-Muthama relations further.

Said Katuku in a text message circulated to Press: “As a result of undemocratic process of Wiper nominations in Machakos County, and after consultation with my supporters and in the interest of the people of Machakos, I have decided to join forces with Wavinya Ndeti as her running mate on CCU party ticket.”

Ndundu, who also lost in the nominations has vowed to stay put in the race, and will be contesting on a PDU ticket. He has named businessman Pascal Kiseli from Kangundo as his running mate.

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