DP Ruto, Kalonzo face off in Machakos
The rivalry between Deputy President William Ruto and Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka will be put to test in the Machakos Senate by-election following the withdrawal of Maendeleo Chap Chap Chap candidate Mutua Katuku.
Katuku’s withdrawal was a major boost for Wiper candidate Agnes Kavindu, who has the backing of an alliance bringing together Kalonzo and leaders of key political parties including Musalia Mudavadi (ANC), Moses Wetang’ula (Ford Kenya) and Kanu’s Gideon Moi.
While Kalonzo is fighting to stump his authority as the Ukambani kingpin, Ruto has lined up allies led by former Machakos Senator Johnstone Muthama to make inroads in lower eastern.
The United Democratic Alliance, which is associated with Ruto, has fielded Urbanus Ngengele, a move that Kalonzo’s supporters have translated as an act of political provocation.
“A win for Ngengele will be a major slight for Kalonzo as it will expose its soft underbelly in his backyard.
It will be particularly painful if he loses to Ruto. He has the task to deliver the same way his partners won in Kabuchai and Matungu,” said Sharif-Peter Mogire, a political scientist.
“The withdrawal of Katuku which was instigated at State House cleared the way for a Kalonzo win but Ruto will still claim some sort of credit if Ngengele returns good performance,” said Mogire.
Mwala MP Vincent Musyoka while mobilizing support for Ngengele took to social media requesting Maendeleo Chap Chap supporters to vote for the Ruto candidate after Katuku’s withdrawal from the race.
Musyoka, a key Ruto lieutenant in the county was elected on a Maendeleo Chap Chap ticket before falling out with Governor Alfred Mutua, the party leader.
“Katuku has been forced by the state and MCC party leader to withdraw from the Machakos race. I urge all Hon Katuku supporters to rally behind Ngengele.
This country belongs to 45 million Kenyans. Let us punish impunity,” said Musyoka, popularly known as Kawaya.
Former Yatta MP Francis Mwangangi who is mobilising for Wiper urged the party supporters not to assume that their candidate had won until the last vote is cast and counted.
“I urge all our supporters to come out in large numbers on Thursday and vote. Do not assume that your candidate has won.
The secret is in voting,” said Mwangangi while appealing for peaceful elections.