Did Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka grab the short end of the stick with his professed willingness to be President Uhuru Kenyatta's errand boy?
Some observers certainly think so. They assert that the Ukambani political kingpin might have shot himself in the foot with his public declaration that he was willing to run errands for President Uhuru Kenyatta.
With the former vice president's announcement, in a speech read during the burial of his father, Mzee Peter Musyoka, at Tseikuru in Kitui County on Friday, he befuddled friend and foe alike.
Party chairman Kivutha Kibwana faulted the party leader’s declaration, saying it was not well thought out and questioned Mr Musyoka’s commitment to his espoused bid for State House.
"Yuyu mutongoi wa andu atwika mundu wa mukono, namo andu ala ma ivalo mamutumie mesani ya nthi makatwika kyau? (When a leader of the people becomes an errand boy, what becomes of the followers who have elevated him to the negotiation table?") reads part of a statement he published on social media on Saturday.
This is umpteenth time that Prof Kibwana is lashing out at Mr Musyoka, whom he has marketed several times as a suitable presidential candidate. The day before, Prof Kibwana had called on President Kenyatta to elevate Mr Musyoka to the status of his deputy William Ruto and ODM leader Raila Odinga, arguing that the March 9 handshake was meant to benefit all Kenyans-and not individuals.
That Mr Musyoka is banking on President Kenyatta’s blessings to buttress his State House bid has not been in question. But Mr Musyoka should put his house in order first, according to the governor who has on several occasions called on Mr Musyoka to reign on disrespectful Wiper politicians lest they undermine his quest for succeeding President Kenyatta, “because such leaders will frustrate ongoing efforts to unite the Kamba community”.
Prof Kibwana’s misgivings lately stem from Mr Musyoka’s apparent failure to put the interests of the community first in his dalliance with President Kenyatta, as well as his apparent political impotence in the wake of defiance exhibited by some of his lieutenants.
He told Daily Nation said that Mr Musyoka should have declared what the Kamba community stands to gain from his deal with President Kenyatta before announcing his political move.
Similarly, Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Junior said that Mr Musyoka should clarify what benefits his alliance with President Kenyatta will bring to the Kamba community and explain why he had warned against being questioned on his decision, to avoid any misunderstandings.
Mr Musyoka has remained tight-lipped about the complaints. Lately trying to fashion his politics along the lines of a combative and strong-willed Opposition stalwart, Mr Musyoka has time and time again fought perceptions of a weak and indecisive leader.
For instance, he sought to allay fears that he was planning to ditch Opposition outfit National Super Alliance (Nasa) for the rival Jubilee Party during last year’s elections by saying that he would rather become a sweeper in a Nasa government than join Jubilee.
Though Wiper leaders have welcomed Mr Kalonzo’s dalliance with President Kenyatta, they have raised concerns that the party leader did not consult the party’s rank and file before announcing his relationship with President Kenyatta.