Leaders reject Kalonzo’s plan for new party
Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka’s plan to form a new opposition alliance has been rejected by some leaders.
Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua’s Maendeleo Chap Chap dismissed Mr Musyoka’s proposed One Kenya Movement (OKM) as “non-inclusive”, even as Ford-Kenya declared the opposition coalition dead.
This came after Mr Musyoka, who was endorsed as the Kamba community’s 2022 presidential flag bearer at a meeting in Machakos on Monday, declared that he would no longer play second fiddle to anyone.
The Wiper leader said those he had supported for decades had turned out to be his biggest political oppressors.
But Maendeleo Chap Chap claimed that the Wiper Party was attempting to seek political relevance following the disintegration of Nasa.
“The Wiper initiative of One Kenya does not offer a socio-economic road map for the community or the country, at large, but is a last ditch effort by the party to save it from sinking into political oblivion,” the party said in a statement.
The Chap Chap party said it was in the consultations to schedule an “all-inclusive meeting for the Kamba nation”, whose agenda would be on how to achieve economic independence.
“MCCP advocates genuine unity meant to bring development to our people and not fake unity meant to entrench supremacy battles,” the party said.
Dr Mutua has declared that he would vie for the top seat in 2022, putting him in a collision course with Mr Musyoka.
At the heart of the Machakos meeting was the future of Nasa, with Ukambani leaders urging Mr Musyoka to give the 2022 presidential race his all.
At the same time, Ford-Kenya secretary-general Eseli Simiyu declared Nasa dead, saying it was untenable to have it in the current structure.
“As far as I’m concerned, and as far as Ford-Kenya is concerned, Nasa doesn’t exist for us any more,” Dr Simiyu said on NTV’s AM Live programme.
Ford-Kenya, which is led by Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula, and the Musalia Mudavadi-led Amani National Congress have announced plans to merge, signalling the impending end of Nasa.
“We have suggested that ODM seems to be very uncomfortable with Nasa, and we have said that they should leave, and let us be. If not, then let us just forget about this whole Nasa thing,” Dr Simiyu said.
For its part, ODM has, however, fought off claims that it is a bully, saying that those claiming Nasa is dead are being insincere.
“We maintain that Nasa is not dead. My colleagues are speaking from the two sides of their mouth. They say that they are aggrieved because of the handshake between Uhuru and Raila, and then they lead a delegation to Ruto for the same talks.
“Two, they say Raila should leave Nasa. If it is dead, what do you want to be left with? It is retrogressive,” said Rarieda MP Otiende Amollo.
Mr Amollo noted that the Nasa co-principals were vilifying ODM leader Raila Odinga because of their presidential ambitions.
Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen, in a letter to the Registrar of Political Parties, has said Mr Musyoka should not be granted rights to name his proposed party as OKM.
Mr Murkomen argued that he had built his own brand around the initials OKM (Onesmus Kipchumba Murkomen).
At the same time, the closing of political ranks between Mr Musyoka and his arch rival, Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu, has shifted focus to the dissenting voices in Ukambani.
For years, the politics of Ukambani have been defined by the intense rivalry between Mr Musyoka and Mrs Ngilu. Nut with the two senior politicians singing the same tune, those opposed to the Kamba unity deal may have to shout louder to attract significant support.
During the Machakos meeting, Mrs Ngilu said that those seeking to oppose them with intention of splitting the Kamba vote would “fail miserably.
“I was the main voice opposed to our son in the past but now I’m fully behind him. We must all join hands in working towards a solid Kamba bloc vote,” she added.
Currently, there are two political camps opposed to Mr Musyoka — one is led by Dr Mutua, the Machakos Governor, while the other revolves around three MPs from the region elected on Jubilee Party tickets. Dr Mutua and Jubilee MPs Victor Munyaka (Machakos Town), Rachael Nyamai (Kitui South) and Nimrod Mbai (Kitui East) did not attend the Komarock meeting in Machakos.
However, the two camps are known to pull from different directions, with Dr Mutua insisting on running for president in 2022, while the MPs are rooting for Deputy President William Ruto’s bid.