Kalonzo heckled at Azimio rally in Kitui South

Kalonzo heckled at Azimio rally in Kitui South

What you need to know:

  • Jeering crowd drowned Mr Musyoka's speech in apparent disapproval of his attempts to campaign for area MP and Jubilee party candidate Racheal Kaki Nyamai.
  • Mr Musyoka endured embarrassing scenes at his home county as the crowd openly jeered him as they refused to be addressed by Ms Nyama.

Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka was on Friday heckled at a joint Azimio la Umoja campaign rally at Ikutha market in Kitui South constituency.

The rally turned chaotic with Mr Musyoka forced to cut short his address several times as the jeering crowd drowned his speech in apparent disapproval of his attempts to campaign for area MP and Jubilee party candidate Racheal Kaki Nyamai.

Trouble started when Mr Musyoka defended Ms Nyamai over the thorny issue of compensation of people whose lands were acquired and homes demolished during the construction of Kibwezi – Kitui highway.

Mr Musyoka endured embarrassing scenes at his home county as the crowd openly jeered him as they refused to be addressed by Ms Nyamai demanding that ODM candidate Onesmus Mumo King be allowed to speak instead.

Interestingly, the Wiper party has a parliamentary candidate Daniel Mutua Ndambuki, a retired Prisons Commandant who was sidelined alongside Mr King, in favor of Ms Nyamai.

The Wiper leader and Ms Nyamai could hardly be heard as the crowd protested that the Kibwezi road project had rendered them paupers and that both leaders had failed to intervene to have the government compensate locals for their demolished homes.

Chants of kwenda uko, kwenda uko (go away, go away) rent the air, prompting Mr Musyoka to halt the programme and allow Mr King to calm down his supporters.

The youthful ODM candidate who is hugely popular in the constituency is giving Ms Nyamai, the outgoing MP, and the Wiper candidate Mr Ndambuki a run for their money.

At one point, Mr Musyoka threatened to have Mr King disqualified from the elections by the Independent Elections and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) for allegedly disrespecting him.

“Mr King, even if you’re in Azimio, we are going to disqualify you. Control your supporters,” a visibly agitated Mr Musyoka charged as the crowd booed him.

Kalonzo Musyoka

Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka (in blue cap) addresses an Azimio la Umoja campaign rally at Ikutha market in Kitui South constituency on June 17, 2022.

Photo credit: Kitavi Mutua | Nation Media Group

Ms Nyamai, who was the chairperson of the Parliamentary Lands Committee in the 12th parliament, has been accused by some of his constituents of failing to address the compensation issue which was squarely in her docket.

According to John Kithwa, the chairman of Ikutha business community, many traders were impoverished by the Kibwezi-Kitui road project after their business premises were demolished and their cries for help have since fell on deaf ears.

“What makes Kitui south community so bitter with MP Nyamai is that people in Kibwezi west and east constituencies in Makueni County where the same road cuts across were compensated a long time ago, but we’ve been taken in circles since 2016” said the trader.

Mr Kithwa said as the head of the parliamentary committee that oversees the National Lands Commission, Ms Nyamai must explain to the local community why hundreds of poor farmers were short-changed by the Jubilee government.

Mr Wambua Kaviti, another businessman, said the Azimio rally turned rowdy after the locals realised that the MP had ferried goons to intimidate other candidates in front of Mr Musyoka.

“We have no problem with Kalonzo campaigning for his Wiper candidates but we felt offended when he tried to impose Ms Nyamai on us without giving other candidates an equal chance at the joint Azimio rally,” Mr Kaviti said.

Meanwhile, Ms Nyamai complained that Mr King and Mr Ndambuki had ganged up to frustrate her efforts to defend the seat she has held for the last 10 years.

The joint Azimio campaign rally brought together candidates from ODM, Wiper, Narc, Jubilee among other parties, who are competing among themselves.

On Wednesday, Ms Nyamai attended the Azimio rally at Mutha in her constituency but left moments before ODM leader Raila Odinga's arrival fearing a similarly hostile crowd of her rivals' supporters.

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