Leaders defend Ngilu in Kalonzo Azimio claims
Perennial political rivalry between Ukambani governors and Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka escalated yesterday after Alfred Mutua (Machakos) urged the former vice president to observe respect in the new political home.
Mutua was reacting to Kalonzo’s claims that Governor Charity Ngilu (Kitui) almost paralysed negotiations at State House, Nairobi, on Saturday ahead of the unveiling of Azimio’s presidential candidate.
Governors Mutua, Ngilu and Kivutha Kibwana of Makueni were the first to endorse Raila Odinga’s candidature and have been conducting his campaigns within Ukambani and across the Country.
“We know you are the one who delayed the negotiations with your unrealistic demands and not Ngilu,” said Mutua, adding that it was wrong for Kalonzo to blame Ngilu for the standoff of the signing of the agreement. “Kenyans know who had been derailing the process all along.”
Speaking yesterday at Kawethei in Kangundo constituency where he met local leaders and later addressed series or rallies, Mutua asked all leaders from the Ukambani region to unite and speak with one voice in advancing the Azimio coalition agenda.
“We welcome Wiper leader Kalonzo for making the decision and joining Azimio the way I did with my colleagues Kibwana and Ngilu. We should now work as a team and not be pulling in different directions because Azimio will form the next government,” said Mutua.
He said the Wiper leader had started attacking the governors and hurling abuses at them a day after joining the Azimio coalition which was bad for a respected leader like him.
“On Sunday, you (Kalonzo) attacked Ngilu who is the senior-most woman politician in our region. Let’s stop such habits and unite to campaign for Raila,” Mutua added.
The governor said he was present at the meeting on Saturday and he didn’t understand what transpired adding that Ngilu was not the problem. “We did not oppose Kalonzo joining Azimio. We are happy that he joined. But he should stop abusing us. Let us unite as leaders and forge ahead,” said Mutua.
Kibwana said it was unhealthy for Kalonzo to start a war with Ngilu. He said every party was signing individual pacts and unity was good for the development interests of the country. “Remarks that divide us are unwelcome. The most important is that we are in Azimio as a community. We should all work for a common goal.”
On Sunday Kalonzo, while attending a church service in Tseikuru, Kitui county, claimed Ngilu had tried to stop Raila from signing the coalition agreement with him because she did not want him to benefit. He vowed not to support Ngilu’s re-election.
Kibwana said such infighting was not good for leaders from the region, saying it portrayed the Wiper leader as a person with ‘low self-esteem’ and he send a wrong signal to the rest of the country. He said it was shameful for any leader in the region to waste too much time politicking at the expense of development in the region, saying that it poses a danger to the region’s political stability.
“I am calling Wiper leader Kalonzo to stop engaging in divisive politics and unity with other leaders in the region instead of dividing the community,” Mutua said, calling on Ngilu and Kalonzo to shun political differences and work together for the good of the region.
Mutua has himself been at loggerheads with the Wiper Party leader ever since he defected to form Maendeleo Chap Chap party. He also asked leaders in the Ukambani region to work together and strengthen the unity of the community in readiness for the August 9 General Election.