Kalonzo-Mutua supremacy war erupts as 5 MPs endorse governor Alfred Mutua
By Erastus Mulwa and Kibiwott Koross
| August 12th 2015
There is political excitement in Ukambani stirred by recent moves by the region’s top political leaders Kalonzo Musyoka, Alfred Mutua and Charity Ngilu.
Dr Mutua (Machakos Governor) on Monday stepped up the supremacy fight with Mr Kalonzo, the Wiper Party leader and presumed Kamba de facto leader, after five MPs endorsed him to take over the leadership mantle at a meeting in Athi River.
MPs Vincent Musyoka (Mwala), John Munuve (Mwingi North), Joe Mutambu (Mwingi Central) and Rachael Nyamai (Kitui South) urged Mutua to urgently convene a meeting of 'Ukambani leaders' to chart the community’s political destiny, adding that he was ripe for the position.
The lawmakers made critical remarks apparently directed at Kalonzo, as they kept making reference to leaders who have been in power for more than 30 years but had nothing to show.
But Kalonzo allies spoke about secret talks between him and his archrival, Ms Ngilu, suggesting a thawing of relations between the two protagonists.
The two publicly came together when Ngilu, the suspended Lands Cabinet Secretary, was charged with obstruction of corruption investigations.
A source close to Kalonzo yesterday said that he has been holding talks with Ngilu with a view to reaching a political compromise.
“I can confirm that these guys have been talking and the political goodwill is already there. Ngilu is certainly not going back to Jubilee and people should ready themselves for a repeat of 2002 presidential campaigns when the two leaders made a surprise reunion,” the source, who requested anonymity, told The Standard.
And Machakos Senator Johnstone Muthama maintained that Kalonzo-Ngilu reunion must not come as a big surprise to the community since voters of the lower Eastern region have been agitating for such union for many years.
“People should stop raising issues as to why the two leaders are reuniting, as that has been a prayer for the people for ages,” said Mr Muthama.
About the endorsement of Mutua by the MPs, Muthama said, “If there is a certain group that wishes to challenge the leadership that has been accepted by voters of lower Eastern region, let them go ahead, they are welcome.”
Machakos Town MP Victor Munyaka, a supporter of Mutua, dismissed the possibility of Ngilu’s re-union with Kalonzo terming it as a dream that can never come true.
“Ngilu knows that any Opposition line up involving Kalonzo cannot win, and that the theory of ‘political waves’ no longer holds any water in Ukambani. Kalonzo-Ngilu unity is a wave that can never materialise,” said Mr Munyaka.
While Kalonzo is touted to have the advantage of wielding his huge experience in national politics over Mutua, Mutua has been described as a ‘digital leader’ who has displayed impressive performance in terms of initiating development projects never seen before in the region’s history.
Ukambani appears to have become the latest target for the Jubilee alliance, which has been making frequent inroads to the region.
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