Rare show of unity as Kalonzo, Muthama bash Ruto, plan Kamba political declaration meeting

Hustlers streets protests

Azimio principal Kalonzo Musyoka speaks at Victory Breakthrough Centre in Tassia, Embakasi yesterday. He was accompanied by DAP-K leader Eugene Wamalwa (seated left) and other leaders.

Photo credit: Lucy Wanjiru | Nation

Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka and his political rival Johnson Muthama have hinted at burying the hatchet ahead of the 2027 General Election in a rare show of unity as they both accused President William Ruto's government of failing to give Ukambani region its due share.

Mr Muthama and Mr Musyoka agreed to rally the Ukambani region around a common cause.

"My brother, even if you join or ditch the Wiper [party], join the United Democratic Alliance (UDA), DP and other parties that are nondescript, you will remain my brother because of our shared history. Our history is very deep. I want to take you at your word. You said we should put our parties aside and come together as a community to find out why we are being undermined. I would like to propose that we meet before the end of July," Musyoka said on Friday, June 14.

The two leaders spoke as they shared a platform during the burial of Agnes Mutete, the wife of Democratic Party chairman Joseph Munyao.

"Mr Muthama and Makueni Governor Mutula Kilonzo Junior will be the conveners of the meeting alongside Kamba elders led by Archbishop Timothy Ndambuki. We should also bring former Kitui Senator David Musila on board. We need to find out what happened to this community," said Mr Musyoka.

The Ukambani political kingpin was responding to Mr Muthama who, in a marked change of heart, took a swipe at President Ruto.

The former UDA leader said the Kenya Kwanza government, like its predecessors, had vilified the Kamba community as he offered to lead Kamba politicians to put aside their political differences and unite ahead of the 2027 general elections.

"The Kamba community has been undermined. I formed the UDA, which went on to form the government. But there is no single Kamba where the national cake is shared," he said at Ngiluni Primary School in Makueni County during the funeral attended mainly by Azimio politicians.

On Saturday, June 15, Mr Muthama moved to clarify his statements on social media.

“As the founding chairman of United Democratic Alliance (UDA), I campaigned vigorously for the party to form the government and I still hold allegiance to the ruling party. Despite being a loyal supporter of this administration, it doesn’t mean that anyone can deter me from championing the unity of my community and as I do that, it shouldn’t be misconstrued that I am leaving UDA or ceasing to support the President,” Mr Muthama said.

Mr Musyoka and Mr Muthama’s gesture marked a significant development in the Ukambani political landscape.

It comes at a time when some of President Ruto’s allies in the region have either become lukewarm or ditched the Kenya Kwanza camp and warmed up to Mr Musyoka’s bandwagon.

An ally of President Ruto, Mr Muthama has been a fierce critic of Mr Musyoka.

In a marked departure from his earlier characterisation of Mr Musyoka as an indecisive leader, Mr Muthama listed the former vice president among icons who have demonstrated heroism as they defied many odds to put the community on the national map in different spheres.

Although Mr Muthama indicated that the Kamba community’s approximately 2 million votes were not enough to propel Mr Musyoka to State House, there was no doubt he had softened his earlier hardliner stand against the Wiper leader.

“We should put all our votes in one basket so that we can negotiate with the front runners in the 2027 presidential race,” Mr Muthama said.

He echoed Mr Kilonzo Jnr who talked of a raft of previous schemes by unidentified individuals to lock him (Mr Musyoka) out of the presidential race.

“When I predicted Azimio’s loss in the 2022 presidential race after they refused to pick Kalonzo Musyoka as the presidential candidate or the running mate, I was called names. But here we are. We are crying again. They are scheming against us. They should look for a running mate because we have a presidential candidate already,” Mr Kilonzo Jnr said.

He welcomed the idea of uniting Kamba politicians but maintained that they should rally behind Mr Musyoka.