Makueni Governor Mutula Kilonzo Junior has set tongues wagging after saying that President William Ruto’s 2027 reelection was almost guaranteed.
Addressing county government officials and a section of his supporters while commissioning the rehabilitation of Ndukuma Dam in Muvau/Kikuumini Ward, the governor --who is elected on a Wiper ticket under the Azimio coalition-- implied that those challenging President Ruto’s legitimacy were daydreaming.
In remarks understood to mock Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka who has already declared a 2027 presidential bid, Mr Kilonzo Jnr also said the Kamba community cannot produce a president just yet.
He argued that the Kamba community was too poor to finance a presidential campaign.
“You think a presidential seat comes easy? You cannot raise Sh10 million to support a presidential campaign yet you are nursing presidential ambitions. It is impossible. Ask the current president,” Mr Kilonzo Jnr said on Tuesday.
"Before we get to the presidency we aspire, we have to change our livelihoods. We have to provide food for these people. We should look for business opportunities for these others (locals) so that they have money."
He said President Ruto had beaten his challengers in last year’s State House race because he was armed with determination and a big war chest.
“He beat many odds to win the presidency since he had the capacity. It will be hard to unseat him. State House is not a bedroom where you just walk in,” he said.
Coming at a time when the Azimio coalition is warming up to intensify its protests against President Ruto’s administration, Mr Kilonzo Jnr’s remarks are the latest signal that he was still displeased with Azimio’s latest political move.
A month ago, he dismissed the nationwide protests by Azimio as pointless and called on Kenyans to recognise Dr Ruto as the legitimate president.
The governor is among local politicians who feel that the Kamba region was getting a raw deal in Azimio.
They have vowed to work closely with President Ruto.
Without elaborating, Mr Kilonzo Jnr on Tuesday called on the Kamba community to “organise itself” to enhance its chances of producing the country’s president in future elections.
Touting the rehabilitation of the dam constructed by the colonial administration as a sustainable way of enhancing food security in the region, the governor challenged President Ruto’s administration to rethink the distribution of relief food as part of its interventions to alleviate famine.
Instead, he said, the government should focus on constructing dams to spur farming through irrigation.
In a surprise twist, Makueni Senator Daniel Maanzo, Makueni Speaker Douglas Mbilu and Makueni MP Susan Kiamba, who graced the ceremony to commission the Sh50 million project to rehabilitate Ndukuma Dam, steered clear of politics. Instead, the Wiper politicians called on leaders in the area to unite to develop the region.