Ngilu warns Kalonzo to be wary of leaders rooting for his 2022 bid

Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu and Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka engaged in a conversation during the funeral of former Cabinet Minister Kyale Mwendwa in Matinyani, Kitui County. [Philip Muasya, Standard]

Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka has been urged not to surrender his presidential bid and settle for a lesser position in next year’s General Election.

Speaking during the funeral service for Edith Malombe, wife of Kitui’s pioneer Governor Julius Malombe at Ithookwe Grounds in Kitui Central on Friday, some Kamba leaders said it was time for Kalonzo to go for the top seat after supporting ODM leader Raila Odinga in the past two elections.

Kitui Senator Enoch Wambua said the Wiper boss was fit to be the fifth president of Kenya, adding that even in the One Kenya Alliance (OKA), he is the senior-most politician.

The senator cautioned those selling other presidential candidates in Ukambani that the region is solidly behind Kalonzo.

“There should be no doubt whatsoever. The next president of this republic is going to be none other than Kalonzo,” Wambua told the gathering that included Environment Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko.

His sentiments were echoed by Kenyan Ambassador to Uganda Kiema Kilonzo, Kitui Central MP Makali Mulu, Mwingi Central MP Gideon Mulyungi, Makueni MP Dan Maanzo and Kitui Woman Rep Irene Kasalu, all of whom said Kalonzo has the requisite leadership skills to run the country as president.

“Kalonzo is fit to lead this country. He should be the next president after President Uhuru (Kenyatta) retires,” said Kilonzo.

When he rose to speak, Kalonzo, who seemed to steer clear of politics, said he was ready to take up the leadership of the country, saying he was aware of the challenges ahead.

“I can assure you we are ready, but we are also aware that this is not for the feeble-hearted,” he said.

However, Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu, who is openly rooting for Raila, told Kalonzo that it will be impossible for him to ascend to the top job since he does not have the numbers.

“You know it would be easy for me to tell you that you will be the fifth president of Kenya, but I need to be honest with you and myself. I wish you all the best but I don’t want to lie to you,” Ngilu said.

She cautioned Kalonzo against listening to leaders who she claimed were pushing him to run for presidency, saying their only interest is to retain their own seats.

“They want to ride on you so that they can win their seats. They don’t care what becomes of you after the elections,” the governor added.

The late Mrs Malombe was eulogised as an astute leader, a family woman and firm lawyer who was deeply religious and prayerful.

She was also praised for working closely with First Lady Margaret Kenyatta to reduce infant and maternal mortality in Kitui County through the Beyond Zero Campaign.

Others present were Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana and MPs Rachael Nyamai (Kitui South), Edith Nyenze (Kitui West), Paul Nzengu (Mwingi North) and a host of MCAs.