Lower Eastern is politically restive as its leaders work on major realignments ahead of the 2022 General Election.
Late last year, former Machakos Senator Johnstone Muthama asked Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka to initiate talks with Deputy President William Ruto.
Weeks later, he declared himself as the Ukambani kingpin, accusing Kalonzo of being indicisive. His declaration attracted the wrath of some of the region’s legislators, who accused him of abrogating himself a responsibility that was over him.
Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu and her Makueni counterpart Kivutha Kibwana were also working on a strategy that sought to isolate Kalonzo from the region’s politics.
And now, Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua’s public recognition of Kalonzo as the Ukambani kingpin has added another twist. For five years, Mutua and Kalonzo’s political relationship has been characterised by a war of words and supremacy battle.
Kalonzo had accused Mutua of working with the Jubilee government to undermine his leadership in the region. In return, Mutua accused the former vice president of perpetuating politics of underdevelopment. The governor even supported President Uhuru Kenyatta and Ruto’s re-election against Opposition leader Raila Odinga and Kalonzo ticket.
But the politics are taking new turns.
Kalonzo and Mutua are now ready to work together, as Ngilu and Prof Kibwana are forging for stronger ties and Muthama trying to chart a path for the community in 2022.
“I am ready to work with Kalonzo. He is the Kamba kingpin and he has to be respected as so,” said Mutua.
But Muthama doubts Mutua’s sincerity.
“I will sit down with any leader who genuinely wants to have the Kamba nation rise,” says Muthama.
“He (Mutua) tried to convince Ngilu and Prof Kibwana to endorse him, but when they were cagey, he has now come to Kalonzo and hope that Kalonzo will help him ascend to presidency, he is not geuine in his reaching out,” he claimed.
On December 31 last year, Mutua announced on Twitter that he would use his Maendeleo Chap Chap to gun for the presidency in 2022.
The new development that he and Kalonzo will work together could therefore be a contraction of some sort.