Politics

Kalonzo: General with no troops

Kalonzo: General with no troops

Summary

  • Wiper party signed a cooperation deal with the ruling Jubilee Party in June.
  • The man from Tseikuru is slowly becoming a general without troops if the revolt in Ukambani is anything to go by.
  • Former Machakos Senator Johnson Muthama, a long-time confidant, has broken ranks with the former VP.
  • Mr Muthama has endorsed Deputy President William Ruto for President in 2022.

Wiper Democratic Movement party leader Kalonzo Musyoka is walking a tight rope in his political career as he works out his 2022 matrix.

The former vice President, whose party signed a cooperation deal with the ruling Jubilee Party in June, is not sitting pretty among his new-found allies in the Handshake.

In his backyard, he is also facing a growing rebellion, with some of his allies harbouring presidential ambitions.

The man from Tseikuru is slowly becoming a general without troops if the revolt in Ukambani is anything to go by.

Former Machakos Senator Johnson Muthama, a long-time confidant, has broken ranks with the former VP and endorsed Deputy President William Ruto for President in 2022 because “Wiper party has no stamina to make one President”.

Presidential candidate

“My free advice to Kalonzo: When the campaign time comes around, we want to see you as a presidential candidate hosting rallies at Uhuru Park, Afraha Stadium and the Tononoka grounds. Ukambani village-based campaigns cannot get you to State House,” Mr Muthama said, generating a barrage of criticism from loyal Wiper followers.

Mr Musyoka is also not on the same page with the three Ukambani governors; Charity Ngilu (Kitui), Alfred Mutua (Machakos) and Kivutha Kibwana (Makueni). Both Dr Mutua and Prof Kibwana have declared interest in the 2022 presidential seat, further muddying the waters for the Wiper leader.

Commands following

But the party’s head of communications, Mr Onesmus Kilonzo, insists Mr Musyoka still commands a huge following.

Mr Muthama and his ilk, Mr Kilonzo said, had better be advised to look at the trail of wounded politicians who have tried to wrestle with Mr Musyoka in his political backyard.

“I won’t mention them to preserve the little dignity they still have, but they appear to have completely lost interest in politics. Others are looking for ways to mend fences with Kalonzo. Kalonzo’s backyard is tightly locked for him in 2022,” said Mr Kilonzo.

In the Handshake, Mr Musyoka is also under fire over his “relevance in the camp”.

Vocal Jubilee Vice Chairman David Murathe feels Mr Musyoka has not lived up to his expectation of working with Jubilee “inside and outside Parliament”, referring to the revenue sharing formula impasse.

“These people know the party position so far as revenue formula is concerned but have chosen to go against it, in other words we are not walking together,” Mr Murathe told the Nation.

“ODM has not signed any agreement with Jubilee and only works with us based on the Handshake and good faith, yet Raila is sticking his neck out for Mt Kenya. What business do we have with Wiper?” he posed.

Secret pact

To pile on his woes, Mr Musyoka is not in good books with the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM). ODM recently denied claims by the former VP that Mr Odinga had a secret 2022 pact with him, generating a bitter exchange between the two parties.

ODM’s Edwin Sifuna argued that Mr Musyoka was seeking to “reap where he did not sow” while Wiper’s Judith Sijeny accused Mr Sifuna of authoring a statement tailored to malign Mr Musyoka’s character.

Mr Murathe’s endorsement of Mr Odinga had also generated a lot of heat, with Mr Musyoka’s Wiper cautioning leaders against making utterances that can threaten the unity of the country and derail the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) process.

Wiper Vice Chairman Victor Swanya said that Mr Murathe holds a lot of influence and can sway the thinking of Kenyans and must exhibit caution.

“He is a respected leader and what he utters has a lot of weight. Leaders should be responsible in their talk so that they don’t make statements that are destructive in nature or probably create unnecessary conflicts in the country,” Mr Swanya said.

“We are not worried because we know, at the right time, we will table our request to Kenyans and other leaderships. Kalonzo has successfully executed his mandate as an outstanding Foreign Affairs Minister and Vice President and we ask our colleagues not to undermine the cordial relationship in the Handshake and the BBI process,” he added.