Mutua the judoka and wobbling king

Alfred Mutia
Photo credit: John Nyaga | Nation Media Group

If Machakos Governor Alfred Nganga Mutua was not in politics, he definitely would be somewhere shooting action movies.

A former film director, Dr Mutua’s knack for the outrageous makes him a perfect match for a starring role in a Hollywood blockbuster.

And he has brought his movie and acting skills to the political arena.

Referred to in many quarters as the “King of PR”, Machakos residents know this only too well when in the lead up to the 2017 General Election, their county boss openly wept at a political rally claiming he was crying for his people.

The “Cobra Squad” boss knows his lines well and recites them to the hilt.

However, Dr Mutua’s biggest blunder is confusing characters while in the process.

My life is in danger - Governor Mutua

In April, the governor led loud praises of Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition presidential flagbearer Raila Odinga, saying he was the best person to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta and take Kenya to greater heights.

The Machakos governor promised to comb every hill and ridge of the country for Mr Odinga and Azimio la Umoja to ensure the latter is the new State House tenant come August 9.

“I have a soft spot for Raila Odinga. He is a focused and wise leader. It is Raila’s time just like it was Mandela’s time,” Dr Mutua said.

Less than a month later, the soft spot had hardened and Governor Mutua had run “chap chap” to Deputy President William Ruto’s Kenya Kwanza Alliance.

The critic-turned-friend of Dr Ruto described him as the best person Kenya can have as president.

Dr Mutua even went as far as saying the DP has solutions for problems bedevilling the country.

“We are convinced that the best team to transform Kenya is Kenya Kwanza and the leader to transform Kenya is William Ruto,” the governor said.

How a second is such a long time in politics!

Though political somersaulting is not new in Kenya, Dr Mutua has taken it to the next level.

But can anyone blame him? May be the black belt holder in karate, judo and kung-fu was just putting his martial arts prowess to words.

Just months ago, the 51-year-old had described Dr Ruto as a hardworking and brilliant person “but in corruption lies in the problem with his candidacy”.

“I can tell you here without fear of contradiction, corruption was one of the main issues that led to the President Kenyatta and DP Ruto fallout. That I know firsthand,” he said.

But Dr Mutua’s ability to quickly forget is legendary.

In the April presser, he confirmed having seen the Azimio Coalition party agreement that was placed with the Registrar of Political Parties, read and reread it “and I was satisfied”.

If drama had siblings, the Machakos county boss would be one of them.

In his 2013 manifesto, he promised Machakos residents tap water right to their showers but delivered tears instead.

No wonder the locals nicknamed him, macinema or “kavaluku”, meaning a rabbit – an animal known in African fairy tales for its cunning nature – saying it is easy for a camel to pass through a needle’s eye than Dr Mutua to deliver on his pledges.

In 2019, Governor Mutua called a press conference and told the world that his life was in danger because DP Ruto squeezed his hand while greeting him.

But what made the governor more worried, he said, was how the United Democratic Alliance presidential candidate looked at him straight in the eye and spoke angrily!

To prove he is a hard worker and never failed residents during his 10-year tenure, the governor paraded all county ambulances and other vehicles at Machakos stadium on Thursday.

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