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Inside Johnson Muthama, Alfred Mutua 9-year feud that could boil over

Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua. [Edward Kiplimo, Standard]

A  political rivalry that has dragged on for some nine years in Ukambani region is now threatening to cause cracks in Kenya Kwanza Alliance.

It’s no secret that Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua and former Machakos Senator (now UDA Chairman) Johnson Muthama do not see eye to eye.

But their differences have come to the fore again after Muthama said their rivalry is too deep-rooted to allow him to share a podium with the Maendeleo Chap Chap Party leader.

The former senator said on Wednesday that he won’t spend even a minute with Mutua until the governor apologises to the people of Machakos County for “misruling them”.

“Maendeleo Chap Chap can campaign for Ruto and vote him in. They can do whatever they want. But for me to sit and spend time with Mutua, he will first ask for forgiveness,” Muthama said in a video shared by Nation.

UDA Chairman Johnson Muthama. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

The former senator on Tuesday gave Deputy President William Ruto’s rally in Tala, Machakos County a wide berth, citing Mutua’s presence.

He told KTN News on Wednesday night: “I was born and raised in Tala, but I decided not to attend the event. It was on purpose because Mutua and I have leadership problems that date back to almost ten years ago.”

The duo’s rivalry could complicate matters in the Kenya Kwanza coalition, given their various positions and interests.

Muthama is the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) chairman while Mutua’s Maendeleo Chap Chap has a following that will be badly needed in the August 9 general election.

The feud, that dates back to 2013, began when Mutua accused Muthama of plotting to end Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka’s political career, and undermining his political supremacy in Ukambani.

It would again play out in 2014 when Mutua, a first-time governor at the time, fired his deputy Bernard Kiala, a Muthama ally, accusing him of failure to discharge his duties.