Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua has escalated his political onslaught against Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka by demanding he quits politics "for the sake of economic growth in Ukambani".
Dr Mutua said continued stay of Kalonzo as the region’s political kingpin is the reason it has lagged behind in terms of development.
He claimed Kalonzo failed to use his influence during the tenures of retired presidents Daniel Arap Moi and Mwai Kibaki, when he served as vice president, to push for projects for the region.
The Maendeleo Chap Chap boss made the remarks on the backdrop of a growing rebellion by Ukambani governors calculated at upstaging Kalonzo from the national negotiating table on behalf of the Kamba community.
In an exclusive interview with KTN’s Point Blank, Mutua further claimed Kalonzo cannot win the presidency since he does not enjoy national backing.
“We must understand that Kalonzo has not given much to our people. You cannot lead a community whose people continue to get poorer. This is a new era where people want to see development,” said Mutua.
He added: “I also want to tell our people that even if you all voted for me, I cannot be President because I need support from outside Ukambani. Kalonzo does not have any support outside our community and therefore cannot win the presidency”.
He further said that it was time Kitui backed a presidential candidate from Machakos and Makueni.
“Machakos has never fielded a candidate for the presidency. It is time for other regions of Ukambani to give back. Machakos has always supported Kitui," he said.
Kalonzo and Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu have both unsuccessfully contested for the top seat.
Mutua (Machakos), Ngilu (Kitui) and Kivutha Kibwana (Makueni) have openly told off Kalonzo that it was time for fresh leadership to take up the region.
Kalonzo replaced Kibwana with Ali Mwakwere as the outfit's chairman following their bitter fallout.
Mutua also talked about his support for the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) by President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition chief Raila Odinga.
He suggested that all the initiatives to have the Constitution amended should be merged to come up with a single document for a referendum.
The former government spokesperson said having multiple initiatives risk polarizing the country politically. He said the 2007/08 poll chaos was a culmination of the charged 2005 referendum contest.
He described some of the proposals in the Punguza Mizigo Bill as good but said there were others which would claw back some of the gains the country has made.
And in a radical suggestion, Mutua said the country needs to cut down the number of 1,450 civic wards.
He said the units were too many for them to realise meaningful development through allocations by the county governments.
“When we had Orange (No) and Banana (Yes) the country was polarised. We should have all the initiatives from Ugatuzi by governors, BBI and Punguza Mizigo so that the people can decide what they want,” said Mutua.
He warned Uhuru and Raila against changing the Constitution so that they can hang on power, stating that may work against their profiles as great leaders.
Mutua also took a swipe at the rival camps within the ruling Jubilee Party, stating that they derailing Uhuru’s agenda for the country.
He said Uhuru was keen in moving the country forward but some of the people close to him were busy fighting over succession politics.
“Kenyans are confused because the President, Deputy President and the ruling party are in limbo. We have a government that is torn apart by corruption from within,” he charged.
“Uhuru is a man who is keen on taking the country to a better place. But he has realised that those close to him are busy digging holes in the ship he is steering,” he said.
He said it was time Uhuru made a decision and deal with individuals in his government who are derailing his development agenda.
“The President is under attack by his people. He needs to deal with those people who are out to derail is agenda for the country,’’ he said.