Seven MPs from the three counties of Ukambani have asked former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka to retire from politics, and hand the region’s political mantle to Governor Alfred Mutua ahead of the 2017 general election.
The MPs, who converged at Kinyui grounds in Matungulu constituency on Dr Mutua’s invitation to launch a multi-billion water project at the weekend, said time has come for the youthful governor to liberate the community from political wilderness.
They included Eng Vincent Musyoka (Mwala), Victor Munyaka (Machakos Town), Itwiku Mbai (Masinga), John Munuve (Mwingi North), Richard Makenga (Kaiti), Regina Ndambuki (Kilome) and Rachael Nyamai (Kitui South). Other leaders present were, former MPs Kalembe Ndile (Kibwezi) and Moffat Maitha (Kangundo).
Addressing the gathering, Dr Munyaka and Makenga revealed a political movement aimed at propelling Dr Mutua as the community’s political kingpin has already been established, and urged former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka to retire from politics.
“We have already formed a movement that seeks to rebrand our manner of doing politics, and which is expected to phase out self-centered approach to politics that has been the culture for many decades,” declared Munyaka.
Munyaka said the 28 years that Kalonzo has been in political leadership is enough pointer that voters in the region have given him all the necessary support he needed, and now it is his turn to support a new breed of leaders.
And agreeing with Munyaka’s sentiments, Makenga said: “Dr Mutua has been tried, tested and found to be the best leader this region can ever have at the moment, and we as the region’s legislators have no doubts that the Governor will lead the community to the next level in terms of development and politics.”
Makenga told the gathering that some eighteen MPs from the region had agreed to throw their weight behind Mutua during a recently convened retreat in Mombasa, which discussed the future of the region’s politics.
Eng Musyoka said leaders who have been in power for too long had let the community down and urged the community to embrace a total political about-turn. “The big problem we have is that most politicians who have overstayed in the game are only interested in the status quo, and have no plans whatsoever to improve lives of the common citizen,” he said.
The MPs’ declaration, which came barely two days after several other legislators loyal to former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka, led by Matungulu MP Stephen Mule, declared the Wiper party leader as the region’s undisputed political kingpin, has literally split the Kamba nation right down the middle.
Battle lines now appear to have been drawn between those supporting the former Government Spokesman, and those backing the former VP, led by Machakos Senator Johnstone Muthama.
Dr Mutua, who appeared to agree with calls to hand him the region’s leadership mantle, demanded respect from Kalonzo and Muthama. “I want to tell the former VP and Senator Muthama to accord me the respect I deserve, and also respect the voters who elected me to office,” he said.
Mutua claimed his detractors have been uncomfortable with his achievements, and are trying all means to have him removed from office. “They have even threatened MCAs who support my leadership of being ejected from the party and also offered huge cash bribes for others to support an impeachment motion against me, but none of their machinations will work,” he said.
But addressing the faithful at AIC Muvuti in Machakos Town constituency on Sunday, Kalonzo dismissed as lies allegations that he had offered bribes for removal of Governor Mutua.
Matungulu MP Stephen Mule, a fierce defender of Kalonzo, said those fronting Dr Mutua to replace Kalonzo are engaging in an exercise in futility.
Speaking to the Standard on Monday over the phone, Mule claimed Mutua is a political novice who cannot bargain for the community’s stake at a national platform. “The fact of the matter is that Mutua does not hold the requisite political experience to merit such a position, which requires immense experience at national level,” said the MP.