Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua insists he will be on the presidential ballot in the 2022 elections, after serving his second and final term as governor.
Buoyed by this week's termination of a corruption case by State prosecution agencies, Dr Mutua says the truth is finally coming out that the graft allegations were politically motivated by his detractors to derail his ambitions.
In an interview with the Sunday Nation, Dr Mutua said he has always been accused falsely and that the termination of the case, which had dogged him for five years, was proof that he was not involved in misappropriation of public funds.
"The clearance by the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission and the Director of Public Prosecutions speaks volumes, given the heightened zeal the two agencies have adopted in the fight against corruption" he said.
In the case which was terminated on Wednesday (October 31), it was alleged that the governor flouted procurement procedures in the purchase of 15 Subaru Outback vehicles and one Toyota Land Cruiser for the county government in 2013.
Parties in the case, including the EACC, the DPP, the Inspector General of Police and the Attorney General, entered consent in court undertaking not to institute any criminal charges against Dr Mutua in relation to EACC Inquiry File Number EACC/F1/INQ 51/2014, effectively withdrawing the case.
"This case was purely motivated by political witch-hunt. I am happy the DPP has separated politics from the fight against corruption and cleared me of any wrongdoing in the matter," the governor said.
Dr Mutua, who heads Maendeleo Chap Chap Party, said he will now reach out to all communities.
He urged his Kamba community to devise a different political route to winning the presidency through his 2022 State House bid.
Dr Mutua is hoping to use his close working relationship with President Uhuru Kenyatta, and his "loyal" stint as Government Spokesman under former President Mwai Kibaki, to win the backing of the vote-rich Mount Kenya region, much more than any other presidential candidate.
The governor has been working hard to position himself as an alternative voice in Ukambani politics by challenging the political dominance of former Vice President and Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka.
In an apparent reference to Mr Musyoka, who has been the running mate of Nasa leader Raila Odinga in 2013 and 2017 presidential elections, Dr Mutua said the Kamba community should start working on a different route to the presidency. He argued that after two failed presidential attempts involving Mr Musyoka, the community should invest in a different candidate or risk missing a strong bargaining voice on the political high table.
"The Nasa memorandum of understanding doesn't give our son, Mr Musyoka, automatic candidature within their political coalition in 2022. That's why we should start reaching out to other communities" he said.
At 48 years of age, the governor believes age is on his side.
He has already set his eyes on 2022 elections with countrywide tours to popularise his party, hoping to grab the mantle of Kamba political leadership.
With Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu, who for many years has been Mr Musyoka's rival in Kamba politics, having closed ranks with the Wiper leader, Dr Mutua sees an opportunity to test the political waters.
He says his re-election in last year's elections — which has been challenged in court by Wiper Party candidate Wavinya Ndeti — was a win against Mr Musyoka and a basis to launch his presidential bid.
Ms Ndeti’s running mate, Mr Peter Mathuki, dismissed Dr Mutua’s presidential ambition as a pipe dream.