Former Machakos Senator Johnstone Muthama: I am a successful hustler
Question: How far are you willing to go with UDA in Ukambani?
Answer: Not just Ukambani. I will take it countrywide. So far we have demonstrated that we have what it takes to publicise our party.
Today we are commanding over three million registered members across the country and our close number two is ODM with about 2.4 million people. The rest are down there.
UDA is accused of using the hustler narrative to exploit poor people for political support. What is your comment?
You know exploiting is taking something from someone either through cheating or using force.
We have never been in power and we have never taken anything from anybody.
We wish to be given a chance to lead, then we can be measured through our actions.
Do you consider yourself a hustler?
You see there is this wrong perception by many Kenyans that to be a hustler you must be poor. No. It means you start as a hustler and you get to where you can go.
People look at me and ask why does Muthama describe himself as a hustler. I was a hustler.
Yes, I grew up in the village, I went to Nairobi to look for a job. I started selling stones. I bought a car to carry my stones.
Then I had to rent an office and now I am involved with mining. So all this was built from a hustler.
When you look at the real consumers of any end product manufactured all over the world, it is the person who is in the grassroots, that bottom person is the one who consumes.
He is the one who turns around the income to meet the cost of what is being manufactured. The top class spends nothing.
They are not consumers in comparison to the common person. The top consume only two per cent and the 98 per cent is shared between the middle class (22-25 per cent) while the bottom class consumes over 70 per cent.
So if you can just consider that and go down to them, you are not empowering them to run away from consuming, you are simply empowering them to consume more so that manufacturers make a profit and the government takes the taxes.
If they remain poor, there is no way they can boost the manufacturers. If you slaughter a cow in a market where there are only 10 people who can buy meat, that means you are going to sell that cow for a week, but if there are people who have the power to purchase, they will buy that cow in a day.
The seller makes money buys another one and that is how you build the economy. So we are not cheating anybody.
There have been calls for Deputy President William Ruto to resign if he is dissatisfied in government. Why does he insist on staying?
They are singing that song of resigning for one reason. The competitors of the deputy president are very much sure they cannot beat him on the ballot, so they are trying to use all kinds of means.
They want him to resign so that he can leave the seat to them. They have no other way of pushing Ruto out.
They started a narrative to brand him as a land grabber, a thief, a person with integrity issues and surrounded by corrupt people.
The narrative started dying slowly after people who have never been connected to corruption deals like Boni Khalwale, David Ndii and Omar Hassan supported him.
The narrative has completely dried up and the issue now remains how to stop Ruto.
I personally I cannot be associated with a person who is mentioned with those kinds of deals.
What is your beef with Kalonzo and ODM leader Raila Odinga?
There was a time Moi could not talk to Raila, all of a sudden we saw Raila becoming the secretary-general of Kanu after being detained by Moi for nine years.
The other day, Raila and Kalonzo could not sit together. Kalonzo has twice deputised Raila. Uhuru used to call Raila Kimundu, Raila used to call Uhuru all manner of things, today they are buddies. Why are people not raising those issues?
Wiper Party legislators have issued an ultimatum to Kalonzo that they will abandon him should he decide to play second fiddle to Raila. What is your take?
That is how he operates. He is just the one who sent them to say so. He is just afraid of telling his colleagues in OKA to stop challenging him and support his bid.
Instead of declaring so, he is sending MPs to issue blackmailing statements. He is a coward and that is how he operates.
Which political seat will you contest in the 2022 general election?
True leaders do not select and elect themselves. True leaders are selected and elected by the people.
So if Machakos people will want me to be their governor, I will have no choice but to stand for the seat.