Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua on Sunday said his presidential bid was unstoppable and urged the Kamba community to find a route to State House.
Governor Mutua said his efforts to build alliances with communities were bearing fruit and that his new-found friendship with Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga would result in betterment of the region and the country.
He noted, however, that he would respectfully sell his agenda for Kenya, not beg for endorsements.
The county chief asked Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka to retire from politics and allow fresh leaders to take the mantle, the same way the late Kamba political kingpin Mulu Mutisya stepped aside for him.
"We have new champions like Eliud Kipchoge and others who are younger and more vibrant, " he said in apparent reference to Mr Musyoka’s three failed bids for the top office.
Dr Mutua said he respects Mr Musyoka for his many contributions to the country but added that his chances of winning the presidency had diminished in the past successive elections.
“Every idea has a timeline and an expiry period. It's time for Kalonzo Musyoka to allow a generational change of leadership in Ukambani who can compete better on the national political fronts,” he said.
Dr Mutua said most Kambas lost hope after Mr Musyoka’s three failed presidential bids, twice under Mr Odinga, and that his 2022 bid was the community’s best route to State House.
He said the victory in Mutonguni, in the Wiper leader's home county, indicated the shifting political dynamics and was a telling statement by Ukambani voters.
Mr Odinga’s allies including ODM Secretary-General Edwin Sifuna were among guests at the ceremony.
Mr Sifuna declared that Governor Mutua was their new partner in Ukambani.
"Our political relationship with Wiper party and Mr Musyoka ended with the Kibra by-election. Our new man is Governor Mutua. We’re confident he’s the emerging leader from this region," he said.
The closing of political ranks between Mr Odinga and Dr Mutua helped ODM retain the Kibra seat but heightened the supremacy battle between the Governor and Mr Musyoka for control of Ukambani.
Mr Musyoka, a former Vice President under retired President Mwai Kibaki, was Mr Odinga’s running mate in the last two presidential elections but the two have been drifting apart since 2018.
Others leaders who attended Dr Mutua's function were Nyamira Senator Okongo Omogeni and MPs Justus Kizito (Shinyalu), Samuel Arama (Nakuru West) and Charles Kilonzo (Yatta).
They and others accused Deputy President William Ruto of using Mr Odinga as a scapegoat in undermining President Uhuru Kenyatta and told him to resign as he has failed the loyalty test.
Governor Mutua said the DP set a bad precedent by causing the country's top leadership to be "embroiled in endless quarrelling and should therefore choose between being loyal to President Kenyatta and quitting government".
He warned that a Deputy President who defies his boss on every government policy presents great concern to the whole country, not just their supporters within Jubilee party.
“We can’t afford to have the top leadership pull in different directions so if Ruto believes President Kenyatta’s style of leadership isn’t good for Kenya, he should honourably resign for the government to run smoothly”, he said.
Dr Mutua suggested if the DP doesn’t stop undermining the President, a mechanism for his removal will be found and a suitable replacement, who can serve with humility, identified.
“Kenyans are wondering what’s happening in the ruling party. Even a 10 year-old child knows the DP is undermining the President especially on the Building Bridges Initiative, which is the main agenda for the country."