Charles Muasya and Anthony Mwangi @PeopleDailyKe
Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka’s grip on the party and the larger lower Eastern appears to have run into unexpected headwinds after seasoned politician Francis Nyenze became the latest to ditch his camp in support of Uhuru Kenyatta’s re-election.
Nyenze, the Kitui West legislator who is also the Leader of Minority in Parliament, and Kitui Senator David Musila, who had already ditched Wiper to run as an independent, stirred a storm after vouching for Uhuru, citing “exceptional development record”.
He becomes the third Ukambani political stalwart to sever links with Kalonzo in as many months.
Machakos Senator Johnstone Muthama recently hit out at Kalonzo, accusing him of dictatorship in the manner he was “conducting Wiper affairs”.
Muthama, however said he will campaign for the election of Raila Odinga as president under the National Super Alliance (Nasa) ticket though he would not defend his senate seat on a Wiper ticket.
Nyenze has been a critic of Nasa for failing to pick Kalonzo as the flagbearer.
Musila severed links with Wiper and Kalonzo after the gubernatorial nominations which he lost to incumbent Julius Malombe. The Kitui senator said he felt cheated and accused party leader of undermining him. The differences exploded in the open at the weekend after Nyenze asked the people of Kitui to support President Uhuru …”due to immense development projects” in the county and the country at large.
Nyenze while addressing a gathering at Kabati market in his constituency that was also attended by Youth Affairs and Gender Cabinet secretary Sicily Kariuki said: “If someone like President Uhuru who has performed exceptionally well in terms of development, why not give him another term to complete projects his administration has initiated?”
He advised against empty rhetoric and urged voters to go for leaders committed to uplifting livelihood of Kenyans, citing SGR and other mega projects initiated by Kenyatta.
Musila echoed similar sentiments, saying: “If someone proves to be worth your votes just elect him whether in Nasa or Jubilee or independent.
“The Opposition outfit did not support me when I needed its support, why should I mince words when I support Nyenze’s call for our community to rally behind President Uhuru?” asked Musila.
“A new political wind is sweeping Ukambani and unlike 2013, President Uhuru will garner thousands of votes from the region as the Opposition has done little to shape the lifestyles of the residents,” said John Munuve (Mwingi North).
Mbooni MP Kisoi Munyao said the local politics had changed to leadership service and not party inclination, predicting that Uhuru would get at least 500,000 votes from the region.
He said Kalonzo has to go back to the drawing board, adding that nearly half of the MPs allied to his party have jumped ship to Jubilee.
Nyenze’s sentiments, however, drew sharp reactions from pro-Kalonzo leaders.
Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Jnr described Nyenze as a misguided, saying: “Hon Nyenze and Senator Musila have the right to switch allegiances as many times as it pleases them. Tumbocracy is part of parcel of the dynamics of Kenyan politics… It is good he has come out openly”.
Narc leader Charity Ngilu, who has endorsed Raila and Kalonzo, said Nyenze was being dishonest, adding: “he should have spoken before he got his ticket so that Jubilee could have given him a ticket.”
Machakos Wiper gubernatorial nominee Wavinya Ndeti said Wiper should file a suit and revoke Nyenze’s nomination for Kitui West bid.