When former Machakos Senator Johnstone Muthama built his home in Mua Hills three decades ago, he probably did not plan to turn it into a political campaign command centre.
Located about 10 kilometers from Machakos town, the residence has in the past two months hosted at least nine meetings of opinion leaders, professionals as well as political aspirants drawn from the three counties of Ukambani.
Here, political strategies are being worked on with attendees being commissioned to popularise Ruto in their respective regions.
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Muthama is leading Deputy President William Ruto’s popularisation campaign in lower Eastern region
Another principal agenda has been to engineer a political coup against Wiper party’s dominance in the region, with proponents alleging failure by its leader Kalonzo Musyoka to provide a solid and sound political leadership for the Kamba community.
Apparently, Muthama’s recent fallout with Kalonzo and his subsequent exit from Wiper party appears to have accelerated his appetite to have Kalonzo ousted as the region’s de facto political kingpin.
Kalonzo has said he will contest in the 2022 presidential race, just like Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua, who has also hit the road to popularise his presidential bid for 2022.
Muthama has been working closely with four local MPs: Victor Munyaka (Machakos Town), Fabian Muli (Kangundo), Nimrod Mbai (Kitui East) and Vincent Musyoka (Mwala) who have been actively involved in mobilising the targeted individuals to attend the meetings to map out pro-Ruto political strategies.
A fortnight ago, Muthama surprised admirers and haters alike when he rubbished claims by Ruto’s critics that he (Muthama) had jumped into ‘the hustler train’ to auction the Kamba nation politically.
He claimed he is a man of means who expects no financial gain from associating with the DP or supporting him.
“I have heard some people claim that I want to benefit from Ruto’s money. That is nonsense. I swear to God that Ruto is not richer than I. I used to finance presidential campaigns in 90s and Ruto that time would receive handouts,” claimed Muthama.
During a recent meeting with delegates drawn from Makueni County, Muthama claimed that his Mua home was ‘just a fraction’ of his several high-end homes and ranches spread across East Africa.
Muthama says it was not DP Ruto’s political activities that were first to be hosted in Mua.
“Even retired President Mwai Kibaki’s party of National Unity (PNU) and the National Super Alliance (NASA) were born here. This is more or less a place where Kenya’s political leadership strategies are conceived and executed,” he said.
Muthama’s Mua residence has a car park with a capacity of at least 150 vehicles. There is an open space where tents can be pitched to accommodate more people and there are external toilet blocks for both genders. There are several drinking water points.
The homestead is guarded by private security firm with a back-up of 24-hour CCTV cameras.
There are also servants’ quarters for grounds men, cleaners and a catering staff for few guests. The home manager outsources catering services when hosting large meetings.
Former Ndalani MCA Stephen Muthuka who has been one of the principal mobilisers of the political meetings at Mua termed Muthama’s idea as brilliant.
“He (Muthama) is a smart thinker. His actions and moves portray him as a serious leader who knows where to go and how.
“It is part of leadership for him to provide this kind of a facility where we can map out how the country will be led,” Muthuka said
He added that Muthama had okayed holding of political strategy meetings in there even in his absence.
He said Muthama’s gesture depicted him as a political father-figure who has sacrificed to provide sound political leadership to not only the Kamba nation but to Kenya at large. Machakos Town MP Munyaka said Muthama joining DP Ruto’s camp marked a milestone in popularising the DP across the country. “Muthama is like a star player in a football match. When he decided to back DP Ruto with all his resources, we knew that we are going to win,” Munyaka said.