Ukambani leaders slam Kalonzo, promise to back Uhuru

Kenya’s Ambassador to Turkey Kiema Kilonzo address the meeting at State House. Never again will Kambas be in the opposition, he said. PHOTO | KENNEDY KIMANTHI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • The leaders said Mr Musyoka’s long stay in the government had not benefited residents from the region.
  • Governor Mutua said they would mop up every vote through affiliate parties that are friendly to Jubilee.

Some Ukambani leaders have accused Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka of being a political burden to the community.

The leaders said Mr Musyoka’s long stay in the government had not benefited residents from the region.

They spoke at a meeting with President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House on Monday.

JUBILEE TEAM
Led by former Kitui Senator David Musila, they also resolved to bolster campaigns by elected Jubilee MPs and election losers to weaken the dominant Nasa-affiliated Wiper Party.

Three Jubilee MPs from the region - Victor Munyaka (Machakos), Rachael Nyamai (Kitui South) and Nimrod Mbai (Kitui East) - and former legislators who lost in the August elections, vowed to lead the electorate to vote for President Kenyatta.

The region has three counties - Kitui, Machakos and Makueni - and is considered a Nasa stronghold.

KALONZO FAILURE
The team, which announced last week that it would lead Jubilee campaigns in Ukambani but officially made their stand on Monday, said the region can no longer survive in the political cold.

Mr Musila, a former Wiper party chairman, said Mr Musyoka, Nasa flag-bearer Raila Odinga’s running mate, is a political burden to the Kamba community.

“We have made this decision because the efforts to make Musyoka clinch the Presidency have come to nought.

"I’m bringing a lot of political experience with these leaders and commit all of it to you,” he told Mr Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto.

VOTES
The Musila-led group will face off with the Nasa-leaning faction headed by Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu to win the more than 1.5 million Kamba votes ahead of the October 17 election.

Mr Musila lost to Ms Ngilu in the poll.

But he said he was hopeful that the 114,000 votes he garnered as a governor candidate, coupled with those of Jubilee losers, would make a greater impact for Jubilee in the region.

UNITY
According to the presidential election results posted on the IEBC portal, Mr Kenyatta garnered 175,189 votes in the region against Mr Odinga’s 969,573.

Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua of Maendeleo Chap Chap said they would mop up every vote through affiliate parties that are friendly to Jubilee.

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko called for an end to the infighting among some of the leaders who attended the meeting.

“We have to harmonise the parties’ strategies to emerge victorious. We have to employ door-to-door campaigns and speak to our people clearly,” Dr Mutua said.

ELDERS
In a separate meeting, the Bukusu council of elders also supported Mr Kenyatta’s candidacy.

The members, led by their chair Richard Walukano, said the Bukusu community has benefited immensely from projects implemented by President Kenyatta and will stand by him to ensure he wins the repeat election.

President Kenyatta welcomed the elders’ support, and assured them of his commitment to unite the country and accelerate development.

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