Factions emerge in DP’s Ukambani camp ahead of Machakos poll

Wednesday, January 6th, 2021 00:00 |
Former Machakos Senator Johnstone Muthama. Photo/PD/FILE

Two factions have emerged in Deputy President  (DP) William Ruto’s  camp  as his allies seek a compromise candidate for the March 18 by- election that was occasioned by the death of Machakos Senator Boniface  Kabaka last month.

While former Machakos Senator Johnstone Muthama  is lobbying for former Machakos Governor Bernard Kiala, another group of legislators from the region are pushing for ex- Agriculture assistant minister Peter Kaindi.

Muthama, who is a strong ally of the DP has been positioning himself as key power broker in Ukambani and appears keen to influence whoever  will clinch the seat he once occupied.

The recently born political party United Democratic Alliance (UDA) associated with Ruto has so far attracted 10 aspirants who include: Nairobi-based gas dealer Gilbert Maluki and politician Patrick Mathuki.

Others are former Matungulu west MCA Magdaline Ndawa, Kiala,  University of Nairobi don John Musingi, insurance underwriter Urbanus Ngengele, Kaindi,  Titus Ndambuki and Winfred Mutua who unsuccessfully contested the seat in 2017.

The MPs Vincent Musyoka ( Mwala), Nimrod Mbai (Kitui East) and  Victor Munyaka (Machakos Town) were on Monday hosted by Ruto at his Karen office  in the company of Kaindi, a former MP for Kathiani. Those opposed to Kiala are said to be keen to tame Muthama’s rising influence in Ukambani.

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But Munyaka was categorical that Kaindi was the best suited and politically strategic to deliver a win for the hustler nation.

 “ I will campaign for him in Machakos town and he will definitely deliver a win for us,” said Munyaka.

But Musyoka downplayed the divisions saying that the Ruto team was solid and keenly working towards fielding a candidate who will deliver victory.

“Kaindi visited the DP to pledge his loyalty and his visit cannot be taken to mean he is the endorsed candidate” he said

 Ruto is set to host the 10 aspirants today at his Karen office where they will be taken through the procedures of nomination and possibly broker truce.

This comes at a time when confusion is facing Kalonzo Musyoka led party on the candidate to sponsor in the looming by election. The party is yet to  declare its candidate for the seat.

And Machakos  Governor Alfred Mutua’s  Maendeleo Chap Chap party has indicated that it sponsor  former  Water minister John Mutua Katuku for the mini-poll.

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