Inside Politics

Ukambani leaders’ Azimio tiff plays ugly

Wednesday, April 20th, 2022 22:16 | By
Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka and Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana at a past function. PHOTO/File

A tug-of-war between Ukambani political bigwigs has spilt over to Azimio orchestrating a prolonged tiff on the coalition’s pick for presidential running mate.

The rivalry between Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka and governors Charity Ngilu (Kitui) and Kivutha Kibwana (Makueni) escalated yesterday, with one of the county bosses accusing the former Vice-President of pushing for his isolation in the Azimio-One Kenya Coalition.

Kalonzo has staked claim to the position of Raila Odinga’s running mate in the August polls drawing the anger of Ngilu and her Machakos counterpart Alfred Mutua.

Determined push

While Ngilu has proposed Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua as Raila’s principal assistant, Mutua has offered himself for the post in a move clearly calculated to slight Kalonzo.

  In her support for Karua, Ngilu has pulled a gender card, and joined hands with women leaders drawn from 26 different political parties under the Azimio banner; in a determined push for the former Gichugu MP to be named Raila’s deputy in August 9 polls.

Yesterday, Kibwana took to his Twitter handle where he accused Kalonzo who was attending a meeting with Raila; bringing together Azimio regional coordinators at the Bomas of Kenya yesterday.

 “It’s proving impossible to work with Kalonzo in Azimio in Ukambani. After he joined us, he has wanted me out of all Azimio structures. I have no choice but to be at peace with this sad reality. History will ultimately judge all of us,” Kibwana.

In an apparent attack on Kalonzo who recently joined the alliance, Ngilu has maintained that they will not allow  “a Johnnie-come-lately” to destroy the Azimio coalition with his strong demands.

“We have in recent past read in media about some leaders making some demands without considering basic factors” said Ngilu adding that a journey to lobby for Karua was unstoppable.

Mutua has positioned himself as the best running-mate choice for a balanced ticket of an older and wiser Raila with a young and energetic Mutua.

Kalonzo allies have affirmed that Kamba community will not vote for Raila if Kalonzo is not chosen as a running mate.

“The Kamba voting block will support Raila whether he chooses me or Kalonzo as Deputy President. They only want to see one of their own selected. Mutua has wider appeal of the youth and women from across the country and would attract undecided and people, who would have issues voting for Raila,” said Maendeleo Chap Chap Secretary-general Wilfred Nyamu.

Mutua told People Daily yesterday that his ticket with Raila will excite Kenyans since it will bring something new and fresh.

“Unlike other people being fronted, Mutua declared his ambitions to run for president and published a Maendeleo Chap Chap Manifesto with an economic formula for creating wealth, generating jobs, and quickly transforming Kenya to be a richer nation. Already some of my ideas such as a factory in every constituency have been adopted by Raila,” said Mutua

Kitui Senator Enoch Wambua, a key Kalonzo ally has told off the Ukambani governors who he accused plotting the Wiper leader’s downfall.

“Our problem is with Governors Mutua, Ngilu, Kibwana and Prof Makau Mutua.  I want to tell these people that they cannot be a barrier in a journey we have been walking to make Kalonzo the 6th President in 2027. We are not playing games here, let the party leader play with his league,” Wambua  said.

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