Jubilee leaders from western Kenya have accused Nasa co-principal Musalia Mudavadi of failing to control his supporters who heckled Water Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa at a Maragoli cultural event.
Mr Wamalwa, whose car was pelted with stones on Tuesday, blamed Mr Mudavadi for his woes in Mbale.
"He failed to control the crowd during that national event and let them heckle on-Nasa leaders. It seems everything was pre-arranged to embarrass Jubilee leaders," said Mr Wamalwa.
"I thought the event was of national importance but Mudavadi depicted it as a Maragoli community event, which was not supposed to be attended by leaders from other communities."
Addressing the press at Harambee market in Matungu Constituency on Tuesday evening, the CS said Mr Mudavadi failed as a Luhya leader and was acting as a Maragoli leader, which he said was regrettable.
"When I asked him whether it was a cultural event or a political event, he failed to convince me. I saw majority of non-Nasa leaders had kept away from the event and that was the first failure for Mudavadi," he said.
"Let us tolerate each other in such cultural events which bring together all Luhya leaders . . . It wasn't a political event as it turned out."
His sentiments were echoed by former Bumula MP Boniface Otsiula, who condemned the act of "chasing away" Mr Wamalwa from the event, stating that it was an act of cowardice.
"Wamalwa is a national leader and the Maragoli event was not restricted to the local community; it is a national event which brings all leaders together," said Mr Otsiula.
"The event started long time ago before the birth of Jubilee and Nasa, so by discriminating against other leaders based on their political affiliations defeats logic of the event that is supposed to foster unity."
He asked Mr Mudavadi to unite the region if he wants to remain relevant politically so that he can lead the country in the future instead of fighting leaders he perceives as his main rivals
The former legislator said Mr Wamalwa sacrificed his ambition and supported Mr Mudavadi in 2013 when all leaders had sidelined him and it was wrong for him to incite his people to heckle the CS.
"Mudavadi has shown that he can't lead Kenyans, if he has failed to unite Western region alone. Let him de-link himself from Nasa things and he will succeed in future," said Mr Otsiula.
But in a rejoinder, Mr Mudavadi, through his spokesperson Kibisu Kabatesi, on Wednesday asked Mr Wamalwa to stop what he termed “his wild claims”.
“First Wamalwa gatecrashed the Maragoli festival, he didn’t even inform Mr Mudavadi, who is the event’s patron, nor the area Governor Wilbur Ottichilo that he was to attend,” Mr Kabatesi said.
“Mudavadi could not have planned anything sinister against his own brother, I think Wamalwa had prearranged his own heckling to send a signal to the Jubilee government for reappointment as a Cabinet secretary because he fears he might be left out.”
Speaking to the Nation on phone, Mr Kabatesi said Mr Wamalwa should thank Mr Mudavadi for saving him from the angry youths.
“He should stop fuelling the Bukusu vs Maragoli feuds,” he said.
“The locals were not after him as a person but they were fed up with the presence of Jubilee at the event because he represented it. Mudavadi had nothing to do with it, in fact he was the saviour...”
At the festival on Tuesday, Mr Mudavadi and Cotu secretary-general Francis Atwoli, who was the chief guest, tried to calm the crowd as residents heckled Mr Wamalwa and chanted anti-Jubilee slogans.
Their efforts were futile as the chanting only grew louder.
Mr Mudavadi and Mr Atwoli escorted the minister out of the venue as police shot in the air, leading to a stampede.
Things settled after the CS left.