Kalonzo allies up in arms on Ruto, Raila campaign trips
Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka’s allies have protested over trips by Deputy President William Ruto and ODM chief Raila Odinga to Ukambani region, saying they were meant to slight the former vice president who comes from the area.
On Friday, Ruto will be in Kitui county while Raila will be hosted by Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana at Wote for an Azimio la Umoja rally as he drums up support in the region that supported him in the last
Ruto has been making frequent forays into Ukambani with the last one being last week.
Kalonzo, a member of the One Kenya Alliance (OKA), has put up a spirited fight to stamp his authority in the region amidst a strong onslaught by his opponents who are emboldened by the support of a section of MPs and three governors in the region opposed to the Wiper leader. Create a narrative.
There have been strong murmurs that have fallen out with Kalonzo, Raila was keen to use Governors Charity Ngilu (Kitui), Alfred Mutua (Machakos) and Kibwana to check-mate the Wiper leader in his backyard.
“We are aware of the plans. The idea is to isolate Kalonzo and create a narrative that he has lost his grip. In addition, there is a notion that governors have resources to mobilise crowds,” said Makueni Senator
Mutula Kilonzo Jnr.
He added: “Raila is welcome but these schemes will only harden our resolve not to be bulldozed. The governors cannot marshal Kambas even if they have all the resources in the world.”
Governor Mutua has declared that he would have voted for Raila had he not been running for the presidency.
And Governor Kibwana, who is currently allied to Azimio la Umoja coalition, has developed a soft spot for Raila at the expense of Kalonzo who has declared that he will not play second fiddle to the Orange party
chief in the coming election.
Kalonzo, who has been Raila’s running mate twice, has declared that he would rather retreat to his rural home than back him again.
But Ngilu, a sworn Kalonzo nemesis, has maintained that the former vice-president’s political life hangs on the balance and could only be saved if he joined Raila.
“My prayer is that Kalonzo can open his eyes wide and work with Raila because the government positions are currently being shared out, failing which our community will for one more time be locked out of government,” Ngilu recently told Kalonzo.
Yesterday, Makueni MP and close Kalonzo ally Daniel Maanzo downplayed
Raila’s trip to his area, saying it will be of no consequences. Maanzo, in whose constituency Raila’s rally will be held, said his constituents will not show up for the meeting in a calculated scheme to embarrass
the opposition leader.
“Raila is using the three governors but I don’t think it has any consequence since the rally will earn him no votes,” said
He added: “Even if he used the governors there will be no impact at all. This means that Raila has not understood the politics of Ukambani and it is a clear indication that he does not wish to work with Wiper.”
Speaking when he met a welfare group from Ukambani yesterday, Raila said he will take his Azimio la Umoja campaign to Kalonzo’s backyard. Raila spoke even has Ruto sustained an onslaught on the opposition leader’s Nyanza backyard addressing meetings in Kisumu.
“I will be in Ukambani on Friday. I will come to engage the people of the Kamba nation,” Raila said yesterday.
Addressing members of a self-help group –‘Mashabiki’, Raila said his administration would give a seven-year tax holiday to business start-ups and ensure that internet connectivity is enhanced so that the youth can get decent jobs.
Raila also charged that his administration, should he be elected to succeed
President Uhuru Kenyatta will ensure that every child gets an equal opportunity to education, health, shelter, food and life.
In an apparent attack on Ruto, Raila said Kenyan youth need decent jobs, not just any job.ODM secretary general Edwin Sifuna tore into UDA’s ‘Bottom-Up’ economic model, saying that while the DP’s daughter is given a job as an ambassador, other Kenyans equally require decent jobs.