Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka has differed with a section of his allies in Ukambani who have openly called on the community to forge a working relationship with the president-elect William Ruto.
Kitui, Machakos and Makueni counties voted overwhelmingly for Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition presidential candidate Raila Odinga, who lost the presidential race to Dr Ruto.
Whereas Makueni governor Mutula Kilonzo Jnr and his Machakos counterpart want the region to work closely with Dr Ruto’s administration for the sake of developing the region, the former vice-president has said the region should remain in the opposition adding that it has nothing to lose.
2027 presidential race
“You remember me saying that the August 9 General Election was also a dress rehearsal for my 2027 presidential race. Let us now focus on 2027. Five years is a short time. We are going to serve in the opposition the best way we can and we are ready for that. So do not worry,” he said yesterday as he congratulated Dr Ruto for winning the August 9 poll ahead of his swearing-in ceremony on Tuesday.
He dismissed talk that he had attempted to reach out to Dr Ruto.
“We respect him. You know we did not agree at all with the verdict of the Supreme Court but we are bound by it. We shall swallow that pain for the sake of our nation. We are ready to swallow the pain,” he added.
He spoke at Mukalala Primary School in Machakos County during the burial of Elizabeth Syombua, a farmer.
This is the first time Mr Musyoka and the Wiper family had spoken publicly about the August 9 elections after the Supreme Court upheld Dr Ruto’s victory.
“We had hoped to prioritise the construction of Yatta Dam if we had won. Never mind, even if we shall be in the opposition we shall push for the construction of the dam and push for everything else. In fact, it is better for me when I am in opposition to deal with these people. Do not get discouraged,” Mr Musyoka added.
Ms Ndeti said it was high time Ukambani drew towards Dr Ruto’s administration. “The national government controls 85 per cent of the development budget and counties contend with the rest. We need to strategise to tap on the 85 per cent of the budget by working with the national government,” she said at Ngulini Village in Machakos during the burial of James Mutinda, a brother of Mr Ezekiel Mutua, the chairman of the board of directors at the Music Copyright Society of Kenya.
Ready to meet Ruto
Separately, Mr Kilonzo Jnr said he was ready to meet Dr Ruto to deliberate on how the region will benefit from his administration.
He said mega projects in the region such as the Sh64 billion Thwake Dam and the upcoming Konza Technocity risked stalling if the region severed ties with the national government. He was addressing mourners at Nzeveni Village in Makueni County during the burial of Dennis Makau Kituu, the personal assistant to Mbooni MP Erastus Kivasu.
“We were defeated fairly because we did not have agents in the polling stations. We slept on the job. We have told the Kamba community that we have to steer it to the government. We cannot afford another term in the opposition. This community is no longer interested in throwing stones. Thwake Dam and Konza Technocity projects need to be funded. We are ready to redeem the Kamba community,” he said.