Alfred Mutua linked to new party as his future remains uncertain
Machakos, Kenya: Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua’s future within the Wiper Democratic Movement now appears uncertain following his Monday announcement that he would “seek refuge elsewhere” if he is pushed to the wall.
At the heart of the threat is a political grapevine that Mutua may have already identified an alternative political party to operate under should Wiper kick him out. The announcement has also placed Wiper bigwigs in a catch-22 position on how to deal with a governor who appears quite popular but who has technically rebelled from the party as evident by his conduct and pronouncements.
Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka has refused to be drawn into the squabble pitting Mutua against his deputy Bernard Kiala, instead opting to let party machinery mediate between the two. Mutua, however, insists it is the failure to intervene which is stoking the squabbles.
“I’d rather not be drawn into this for now. We are aware of what is happening and we are taking care of everything in the best interest of everyone,” Musyoka said curtly.
Party Chairman David Musila is categorical that Mutua is firmly in Wiper to stay and that the feud between him and Kiala is a passing cloud.
On the day Kiala found his office vandalised under pretext of doing renovations, Musila assured that he had managed to obtain a ceasefire between the two sides in the interests of the people of Machakos and the party.
He said Wiper is not aware of any political conduct that depicts Mutua as a rebel in bed with rival parties or coalitions. “We cannot go by what we hear or read out there. As a party, we have nothing in our hands that can lead us to presume that he has left our party. We believe that he is firmly in Wiper, and that’s why we are working hard to reconcile him and his deputy,” Musila said.
Wiper founder and Makueni MP Daniel Maanzo has, however, dropped his guards on Mutua. He drew our attention to Section 14(5) (e) of the Political Parties Act which says a person who while being a member of a political party promotes ideology, interests or policies of another political party shall be deemed to have resigned from the previous political party.
The same would happen if one “in any way or manner publicly advocates for the formation of another political party.”
Maanzo told The Standard on Sunday that it is in the public domain that Mutua has been “abusing the CORD coalition”, has declared coalition leader Raila Odinga un-electable and refused to attend key coalition events in his county like the “national dialogue rally” in Machakos in July.
“The law is very clear that the moment you begin associating with policies of other parties, activities and ideologies, you are deemed to have automatically quit. Your goose is cooked right then,” Maanzo said.
He said it’s apparent that Mutua has been courting the idea of forming a political party or joining Kalembe Ndile’s TIP. “I have heard the rumours about his party. I have also heard other rumours that he may be joining Ndile’s party. I will know he is a true gentleman if he resigns.”
Maanzo explained that if Mutua were to quit or be kicked out of Wiper, he would be locked out from the preceding by-election by virtue of the legal requirement that a person should be a member of a political party for at least 90 days to ride on its ticket. “The law as currently crafted does not, technically, allow anyone to defect. You do it at your own risk and trust me, we will be there to remind him that he cannot contest,” Maanzo said.