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Muthama: Kamba people must wake up because we are being played

Saturday December 14 2019

Senator Johnstone Muthama during a past event. PHOTO | TOM OTIENO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Senator Johnstone Muthama during a past event. PHOTO | TOM OTIENO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

KITAVI MUTUA
By KITAVI MUTUA
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A proposed alliance between Deputy President William Ruto and Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka has stirred a political storm likely to see the formation of new political alliances ahead of the 2022 General Election.

SPLIT WIPER

The storm that was sparked by former Machakos Senator Johnstone Muthama has also sucked in President Kenyatta and Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga, and split the Wiper Party.

It all started on Wednesday when Muthama told a vernacular radio station that a political alliance between DP Ruto and Mr Musyoka was in the offing.

But in a sharp rejoinder, Mr Musyoka disowned Muthama’s statement, warning that it could jeopardise his relationship with President Kenyatta.

Interestingly, Mr Muthama, who accused President Kenyatta and Mr Odinga of using the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) to stifle Mr Musyoka’s 2022 chances, had claimed he had the Wiper leader’s blessings on the matter.

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He argued that the DP and Mr Musyoka were in a similar political predicament because the President and Mr Odinga were using the BBI to avoid honouring the memoranda of understanding (MoUs) they entered with them.

DRIVE WEDGE

The former senator said that President Kenyatta reached out to Mr Odinga under the BBI framework to frustrate his deputy, while the ODM leader recruited governors from Ukambani as his new political partners to sideline Mr Musyoka.

Hours after Mr Muthama spoke, Mr Musyoka surprised many when he said, through a tweet, discussions about a possible political alliance with the DP were a malicious attempt to drive a wedge between him and the President.

The tweet that avoided mentioning Mr Muthama by name said the remarks by individuals should not be attributed to him.

Mr Musyoka, whom the President recently appointed Special Envoy for South Sudan denied sending Mr Muthama to speak on his behalf.

HIGHEST BIDDER

Mr Musyoka’s refutation triggered confusion and debate within and outside his party with online critics accusing him of pretending to disown Muthama after the message was delivered.

Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua said Muthama could not have made the remarks without the blessings of his party boss. He said the move to reach out to Mr Ruto was consistent with Wiper’s style of auctioning the Kamba community to the highest bidder every election, and that this retrogressive style of politics should be condemned.

“Judging from the history and the political dealings between Mr Musyoka and Mr Muthama, it was clear that the former senator’s position was unequivocally the stand of his party leader” Dr Mutua said.

with Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen wondering how associating with the DP would upset President Kenyatta.

FOUGHT VICIOUSLY

“Your Excellency, I don’t think working with the DP will in anyway drive a wedge between you and the President unless of course I’ve missed the memo,” Murkomen said tin a tweet.

Illogical yet true

Kericho Senator Aaron Cheruiyot Cheruiyot chimed in, saying, what the Wiper leader had said was illogical yet true because lately, any leader who appeared to be working with the DP was being fought viciously and intimidated.

While most Wiper MPs maintained a cautious silence, Mr Muthama’s remarks seem to have rattled the party, with Secretary-General Judith Sijeny saying  that his views were personal.

“The party has not taken any position regarding which parties or leaders to engage towards 2022. Wiper is still part of the Nasa coalition,” Ms Sijeny said.

TESTING WATERS

However, an MP who did not want to be named confided to the Nation that Muthama was only testing waters and that most Wiper supporters approved the new pact.

The interview comes only a week after Muthama hosted Kamba MPs allied to Dr Ruto for lunch where the proposed pact was discussed at length. He also announced that he’ll be hosting a meeting of elected Kamba leaders drawn from all political parties early next month.

“Kamba people must wake up, it is now or never because it’s clear we are being played in the BBI framework and there is a grand scheme to sideline and lock us out of the next government,” Mr Muthama charged.