Former Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka is staring at a stormy voyage in his 2022 presidential race after a host of MPs from his Ukambani backyard, who are allied to Deputy President William Ruto, intensified calls for him to quit the race.
The Wiper party leader, who has declared he will be seeking nothing but the presidency in the next General Election, is also fighting to consolidate his position as the defacto political kingpin amid glaring rebellion by governors Alfred Mutua (Machakos), Kivutha Kibwana (Makueni) and Charity Ngilu (Kitui).
Both Dr Mutua and Prof Kibwana, who are currently serving their last terms in office, have also declared interest for the presidency.
Dr Ruto, who has undeniably been on a countrywide political charm offensive to shore up support for his 2022 presidential bid, has tasked the responsibility of delivering the lower Eastern vote bloc to MPs Victor Munyaka (Machakos Town), Vincent Musyoka (Mwala), Fabian Muli (Kangundo) and Kitui East’s Nimrod Mbai.
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The four legislators have been working under the stewardship of former Machakos Senator Johnstone Muthama, who recently staged a dramatic walkout from Wiper party after falling out with his long-time ally, Kalonzo.
And On Friday, former Nairobi deputy governor Jonathan Mueke quit Wiper party for unknown reason. Mueke had been an instrumental player in Wiper's city operations.
He claimed Kenya's changing political landscape and the kind of change required to bring the promise of a better tomorrow for the country’s youthful population persuaded him to explore a different political path other than what Wiper currently represents.
"He has been a comrade, one who has done his best for the party he loved so much. He's obviously a man to watch, suave, smart, silent schemer and intelligent. We wish him well and we remain solidly in Wiper," Fred Musau, a Wiper Youth leader in Nairobi said.
Last Friday, Munyaka, Mbai, Muli and Musyoka held two major political meetings in Kangundo and Matungulu constituencies where hundreds of delegates drawn from the two constituencies were commissioned to ‘evangelize the gospel’ of Ruto’s 2022 presidency.
But Matungulu MP Stephen Mule, who is a diehard supporter of Kalonzo, dismissed the MPs’ mission, terming it as an exercise in futility. “It is impossible to sell Ruto in Ukambani especially at a time when Kalonzo is seeking presidency,” said Mule.
But Musyoka pointed out that politics is a game of numbers, and that the maximum votes the community could marshal was 800,000, a paltry figure compared to Central and Rift Valley combined.
“In the last General Election, Kalonzo teamed up with Raila Odinga, Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetang’ula in the NASA coalition. On the other hand, Uhuru Kenyatta teamed with Ruto and trounced the NASA team. Today, Kalonzo, Raila and Mudavadi are all divided, which brings the chance of any of them winning to almost zero,” Musyoka said.