Wavinya, Nzioka Waita rivalry play out in Raila’s Machakos rally

Sibling rivalry greets Raila in Machakos

A major showdown between Nzioka Waita and Wavinya Ndeti, both in the Machakos governor race, marred Azimio One Kenya Coalition presidential candidate Raila Odinga's first outing with Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka on Sunday June 12 as intense sibling rivalry rocked the coalition.

The rallies turned into shouting matches between supporters of Mr Waita, former State House Chief of Staff, of Chama Cha Uzalendo and those of Ms Ndeti, a former Transport Chief Administrative Secretary and the Wiper candidate in the Machakos race. 

Mr Musyoka accused the former ally of President Uhuru Kenyatta of undermining him, adding that Mr Waita lacks the interest of Machakos people at heart.

Mr Waita turned down a suggestion by Mr Musyoka that he (Waita) steps down from the Machakos governor race in favour of Ms Ndeti.

Mr Waita asked Mr Odinga not to bow to Mr Musyoka’s pressure and instead to allow all Azimio challengers to compete fairly in the August polls.

Mr Musyoka isolated Mr Waita as he pledged to work closely with Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu and her Makueni counterpart Kivutha Kibwana to ensure that the region votes overwhelmingly for Mr Odinga.

Mr Odinga's visit to Machakos County had been preceded by a week of shadowboxing between the two rival camps in the county, both within Azimio coalition.

The Wavinya Ndeti side had released the itinerary of Mr Odinga's tour of the county while making it clear that Mr Odinga will be hosted by the Wiper governor candidate.

But Mr Waita's side was quick to read mischief in the plans and insisting that they will also be in the tour.

“Wavinya's side is taking credit for the tour but we will also be there. This is Azimio presidential candidate's tour,” said a member of Mr Waita's strategic team.

The Waita side claimed to be 'the bonafide Azimio' team since they had stuck with Mr Odinga even when the Wiper side dilly-dallied on their decision.

End sibling rivalry

Azimio deputy presidential candidate Martha Karua last week said that the coalition had put its best foot forward to end sibling rivalry so that it does not lose key seats to the rival Kenya Kwanza Alliance which is led by the Deputy President William Ruto.

 “Once we are in Azimio we do not mind the party because we are looking for good leadership to develop the country. Where one position has attracted many Azimio candidates we shall make plans by the end of the month to see who will fly the Azimio flag. Having many Azimio candidates competing against one another will be giving our rival an opportunity,” she said at Wote Town in Makueni County.

The ODM leader gave the local political drama a wide berth and went ahead to rally the region behind his presidential bid.

Accompanied by Mr Musyoka, Ms Ngilu and Mr Waita, Mr Odinga pledged to revamp the country's economy and healthcare system if he wins the August 9 General Election.

Addressing rallies at Masinga, Matuu, Mwala and Athi River townships, Mr Odinga pledged to address the issue of food security in Ukambani by rolling out an aggressive water harvesting programme.

Christianity debate

He also defended his stand on Christianity as he sought to end debate on his religion. Mr Odinga's faith has dominated talks among his political rivals claiming he was an atheist.

Mr Musyoka joined Prof KIbwana in castigating those questioning Mr Odinga's Christianity even as Mr Odinga said the talk was misplaced.

“A tiger does not proclaim its tigritude; it is seen,” Mr Odinga said during a church service at Masinga Catholic Church in Machakos County. 

“A Christian does not have to announce that he is one. The Christianity should be seen in the way the Christian lives. Christianity teaches us how to love others, how to be considerate to other people. It does not matter how many times in a day you have to say you are a Christian. If you are a Christian it is known that you are a Christian,” he said.

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