Machakos Senator Johnson Muthama compounded problems for Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka after he withdrew support for the party as he declared the former vice-president a dictator.
Mr Muthama, who said he would remain in Wiper on nominal basis, accused Mr Musyoka of manipulating Wiper nominations in Ukambani in favour of his preferred candidates, thus eroding the democratic principles on which the party was founded.
In a statement that read like a Wiper obituary, Mr Muthama mourned the party he said he, alongside Kitui Senator David Musila and the late Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo, founded and nurtured into a vibrant political outfit on whose ticket Mr Musyoka contested the presidency in the 2007 elections.
“I do not feel that I have the face, anymore, to campaign or face our supporters in Wiper all over because the party has betrayed the people’s trust. It is no longer a democratic party,” he said at his Village Market office in Nairobi.
He went on: “To put it plainly, as I always prefer to do, I cannot go out and campaign for Wiper anywhere in this country.”
Perhaps aware that his salvo against Mr Musyoka was likely to stir up matters in the National Super Alliance where the Wiper leader is the running mate, Mr Muthama vowed to campaign for Nasa flag-bearer Raila Odinga.
“I will vigorously campaign for Raila Odinga as the Nasa presidential candidate. You know there are no votes for the deputy president.
"Kalonzo Musyoka is in the same bus (Nasa) like me, which is being driven by Raila Amolo Odinga,” he said.
“I am supporting Nasa and the Wiper leader is in the bandwagon, and like me, he supports Raila Odinga.”
STILL IN WIPER
However, he said he would remain a member of Wiper.
“I’m a member of Wiper and I pay Sh50,000 per month and much more.”
Reacting to Mr Muthama’s move, Wiper secretary-general Hassan Omar said it was sad for the party to face the decision taken by the Machakos senator, whom he described as “an asset to Wiper”.
Mr Omar, the Mombasa senator, said he would have preferred that Mr Muthama stays put in the party and defends his seat.
“We live in a world of adversities and you don’t quit when some things appear not to be going your way,” he said by telephone.
He however expressed hope that the party will be resilient in the face of Mr Muthama’s withdrawal of support for Wiper.
“I hope the party will be resilient and I would hate to see a Kalonzo-Muthama contest in Ukambani instead of a Kalonzo-Raila pairing in the region during the elections,” he said.
Contacted by Nation, Mr Musyoka did not answer the calls.
Signs that all was not well with Mr Muthama in Wiper became clear last week when he called a press conference, only to cancel it later.
He however expressed his displeasure in the manner in which Mr Musila, the Wiper chairman, quit the party in a huff to vie as an independent following a dispute on the nomination for governor in Kitui.
He accused Mr Musyoka of masterminding the loss of Mr Musila in the Wiper nominations for the Kitui governor seat in favour of Dr Julius Malombe, the incumbent.
He argued that the Kitui senator won the seat but was cheated out of it in a scheme masterminded by the former VP.
Mr Muthama said now that Ms Wavinya Ndeti was facing Governor Alfred Mutua in the gubernatorial race, he could no longer offer to defend his post as the county senator.
“The fact that Wavinya is going to get the Wiper certificate and will be competing against Mutua, it means one of them will be the Machakos governor.
"I have almost 40 cases against Mutua for the crimes he has committed against the people of Machakos and Wavinya has a very bad CDF record. I pull out because I cannot work with any of them,” he said.
Without stating his next move, he urged aspirants who lost in the Wiper nominations to vie as independent candidates to kick out Mr Musyoka’s allies.