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Muthama vows to lead Kalonzo-Ruto coalition talks

By Erastus M Mulwa | December 12th 2019 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

Former Machakos Governor Johnston Muthama, at his Office in Gigiri, Nairobi County. [Phillip Orwa/Standard]

Former Machakos Senator Johnstone Muthama has said he will lead coalition talks between Deputy President William Ruto and Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka.

Mr Muthama, who has been a fierce critic of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee government, has vowed to lead a delegation of senior political leaders from Ukambani to negotiate for Kalonzo’s position with DP Ruto ahead of the 2022 General Election.

Speaking on Wednesday in an interview hosted by a local radio station, the former senator welcomed the political dalliance between Ruto and a section of Ukambani leaders led by MPs Victor Munyaka (Machakos Town) and Vincent Musyoka (Mwala), saying fresh negotiations should be held to ensure Kalonzo gets a slot in a possible coalition with the DP.

“Now that Uhuru is retiring, the next president will be either Ruto or Raila. And as a community, we should do careful calculation to ensure we do not get lost,” said Muthama.

Muthama revealed his discussion with a section of Ukambani MPs who paid him a courtesy call last week.

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“Both Munyaka and Musyoka have told me that they have not floated the idea of Kalonzo taking the highest office in the proposed negotiations, although they categorically stated they preferred Kalonzo for the top seat. Soon and very soon, I will call leaders to form a committee to face Ruto for negotiations,” Muthama said.

The development is likely to split the nearly 2.5 million lower Eastern vote bloc, which is partly leaning towards Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua, who has declared he will be on the presidential ballot come 2022.

Dr Mutua, the leader of Maendeleo Chap Chap party, has been calling on Ukambani residents to rally behind him, saying he was the only leader in the region capable of gaining support from other communities across the country.

Muthama’s latest surprise move appeared to contradict his previous political position where he is on record saying Ruto and Uhuru should both retire from politics after their current term in office.

“I have met my lawyers and instructed them to move to the constitutional court to seek a declaration that once a sitting president completes his second term in office, his deputy should also retire automatically,” Muthama told mourners at a funeral in Matungulu on May 24, 2019.

In his speech, Muthama argued it was ‘dominance of big tribes’ in national power politics that was responsible for the glaring inequalities in the country.

But Kalonzo yesterday came out strongly to disown claims by Muthama.

 

Kalonzo said he was not interested in becoming Ruto’s running mate in the 2022 General Election and reiterated that he will run for the top seat.

In an interview with The Standard, the former Vice President claimed there was a scheme to brand him as indecisive by his political detractors.

“I know how to speak for myself and I would do so if necessary. If some people decide to make some remarks at some corner, it should not be taken as the party position but their personal views,” Kalonzo said.

He said he was surprised by the remarks by Muthama and described him as an agent of political propaganda.


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