What Mutua victory means for Kalonzo
Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua on Friday said his political ambitions had been boosted after the High Court dismissed a petition challenging his August 8 victory in the race for Machakos governor.
Dr Mutua said his 2022 State House journey had begun, a statement likely to put him on the path of a supremacy battle with Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka.
Mr Musyoka had endorsed Dr Mutua’s challenger, Ms Wavinya Ndeti. Ms Ndeti lost the race on August 8 and the petition.
The governor said time had come for fresh, creative and visionary leadership devoid of tribalism.
During celebrations after the ruling, Dr Mutua said he had forgiven those who spread propaganda against him “and even sabotaged my projects”.
“Let us hold hands and move together,” he told a crowd at Machakos bus park.
Apparently relieved by the outcome, Dr Mutua said the presidential train had already left station and there was no turning back.
“With God’s grace, I will be the fifth president of Kenya,” he said.
Dr Mutua formed Maendeleo Chap Chap as his 2017 political vehicle and put up a fight against Wiper party in a region that had an almost fanatical support for Mr Musyoka, himself a presidential running mate on the Opposition Nasa ticket.
Mandeleo Chap Chap won four seats in the National Assembly, with only one coming from Ukambani.
Wiper party took 22 seats.
While Dr Mutua will be celebrating his victory, Mr Musyoka will facing a loyalty test in the National Super Alliance to which Wiper belongs, after he skipped probably the most important political event of the coalition this year — the symbolic “swearing-in” of Mr Raila Odinga as the “People’s President” on January 30.
Mr Musyoka was to have been sworn in as Mr Odinga’s deputy.
Dr Mutua is urging Ukambani residents to take a different political route.
The governor has been working hard to position himself as the alternative voice in Machakos, Kitui and Makueni counties by challenging Mr Musyoka.
He can easily become a formidable political force if he joins forces with young lawmakers like Rachael Nyamai (Kitui South), Mr Victor Munyaka (Machakos Town) and Mr Vincent Musyoka (Mwala), who survived Wiper onslaughts to win second terms in Parliament on Jubilee and Chap Chap tickets.
Mr Musyoka demonstrated how he was particularly keen on the Machakos petition when he attended the final submissions in court, accompanied by Nasa top brass, including Mr Musalia Mudavadi, Mr Moses Wetang’ula, Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana and Ms Ndeti, the petitioner.
While celebrating the petition victory, Dr Mutua said his disagreements with Mr Musyoka were not over.
At 47, the county boss believes age is on his side as he intensifies efforts to reach out to other regions.
Ms Ndeti’s running mate, Mr Peter Mathuki, however dismissed Dr Mutua’s presidential talk, saying the region “will not be hoodwinked into an agenda whose imminent collapse it can clearly see”.
“The whole country knows Jubilee will front Mr William Ruto as its presidential candidate in 2022. Dr Mutua is being naive if he expects to get support from President Uhuru Kenyatta’s region,” Mr Mathuki said.
Addressing supporters later, Dr Mutua offered an olive branch to his rivals and opponents.
“I welcome Wavinya to come and work with me. Yaliyopita si ndwele tugange yajayo (Let us forget the past and focus the future),” he said.
However, Ms Ndeti said her desire to serve the people of Machakos had not waned.
“I thank my supporters. When time comes, I will be governor. God’s timing is the best,” she said, adding that Wiper and her lawyers would decide whether to appeal the ruling.
The court ordered her pay Dr Mutua Sh5 million and a similar amount to the electoral commission.