Disunity risks my 2027 presidential bid, says Kalonzo

Wiper Democratic Movement leader Kalonzo Musyoka at Mitaboni Catholic Church during the burial Mass of late Mary Mbinya Muthiani, a stouch Wiper Party grassroots mobilizer. [Dennis Kavisu, Standard]

Wiper Party Leader Kalonzo Musyoka has cautioned leaders from his Ukambani backyard against political fights, terming them a setback on his 2027 presidential bid.

Kalonzo challenged the leaders to cultivate unity while carrying out mass recruitment to boost party membership.

Citing the political unity demonstrated by Azimio coalition partner ODM in Luo Nyanza, the Wiper boss urged local leaders to build a strong movement that is capable of mounting a serious campaign in 2027. 

“I want you to look at the unity among our friends in ODM. During the recent International Investment Conference in Homa Bay County, all the elected leaders came together as one team of ODM. As Wiper, we should also organise ourselves by first mobilising a party membership registration drive," said Kalonzo at the Mitaboni Catholic Church in Kathiani, Machakos, during the funeral mass for Mary Mbinya Muthiani, a Wiper grassroots mobiliser, on Saturday.

“If you are looking for national leadership, we must get as many people as possible registering as voters, but first they must apply for national identity cards. By now, Members of Parliament must join forces with governors, senators and county MPs to mount a serious party recruitment drive mostly targeting youths who are not yet registered.”

Kalonzo was responding to remarks made by Machakos Deputy Governor Francis Mwangangi who alleged a section of leaders in the party had been undermining the county government.

“You may not know what has been transpiring at the grassroots level. It is so sad that the very people in our family (Wiper) that we should be uniting to propel you to national leadership are today the ones busy pulling us behind. They have even been teaming up with other leaders in rival parties to undermine Governor Wavinya’s (Ndeti) administration,” he said in an apparent reference to two MPs who have openly criticised the Governor.

Mwangangi further said this was likely to force the Wiper leader to spend too much unnecessary time and energy trying to solve petty bickering among individuals who are expected to be self-driven foot soldiers.

He questioned the host MP, Robert Mbui, for failure to show up at development forums convened by Ndeti in his constituency.

“In all humility, Mbui is the National Wiper Party organizing secretary. I want to see you in Governor Wavinya’s forums, just like you have been inviting other leaders to attend your forums so that in the event of any matter cropping up within the party, you can be seen as a fair arbitrator,” he said. 

But Ndeti chose to downplay Mwangangi's concerns, saying that she was firmly in control of her government and that her pre-occupation was to ensure residents get good services.

“I have kept my eyes on the ball. I have chosen not to be distracted by the naysayers. I thank the people of Machakos for trusting and supporting my government. I am answerable only to God and the people who elected me,” she said.

However, Kalonzo told the leaders that they had a lot of work to do if they were keen on propelling the party to rule the country in the next General Election. “This is your own party and it is your own obligation to build it. Unnecessary fights must now stop. The negative campaigns against women leadership must end,” said Kalonzo.

Senator Agnes Kavindu dismissed claims that she had failed to execute her oversight functions on the Governor’s administration.

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