Ukambani Ruto allies dismiss Kalonzo Musyoka and Johnson Muthama calls for UDA, Wiper talks

Kalonzo Musyoka.

Former Machakos Senator Johnson Muthama and Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Youthful Ukambani leaders allied to the Kenya Kwanza coalition have dismissed calls by former United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party leader Johnson Muthama for unity talks with the Wiper party.

On Friday, Mr Muthama offered to convene bipartisan political talks between leaders from the Ukambani region to discuss the community's participation in President William Ruto's government and its future.

The former Machakos senator joined Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka in accusing President Ruto of relegating Kambas to peripheral roles in his government.

"The Kamba community has been vilified. I formed the UDA party which went on to win elections and form the government but there's not a single Kamba where the national cake is being shared," Mr Muthama said during the burial of former Cabinet minister Joseph Konzollo Munyao's wife in Mbooni, Makueni County, which was attended by Mr Musyoka and several Wiper leaders.

Political allies

Mr Muthama's assertion that he will rally the Kamba community around a different political path, away from Kenya Kwanza, has drawn angry reactions from President Ruto's political allies in the region.

Led by Tourism and Wildlife Cabinet Secretary Alfred Mutua and UDA National Organising Secretary Vincent Musyoka Kawaya, they accused the two of hoodwinking the Kamba community into believing they were not included in the Kenya Kwanza government for their selfish political reasons.

In separate interviews with Nation.Africa, the young leaders said both Mr Musyoka and Mr Muthama don't need to hold senior positions for the Kamba community to feel adequately represented in government.

They said Kenya is a democracy and those currently holding senior state appointments are legitimate representatives of the community in government and will therefore ensure that the social and economic aspirations of the region are met.

"Let us not be greedy. We voted in large numbers in our community against William Ruto. But he has shown that he is not tribal and has appointed us to the government. We also have a number of projects on the way for our region," said Dr Mutua.

Political relevance

The CS said people clamouring for political relevance by offering to organise a caucus of leaders in Ukambani region were doing so out of greed.

Mr Kawaya, the Mwala MP who has emerged as President Ruto's political point man in the region, says it is wrong for the two Wiper party founders to define inclusivity in government as only when they are part of it.

"The narrative that Kambas are not in government because Kalonzo Musyoka is in opposition is extremely misleading. The truth is that as a community we gave President Ruto the least votes in last year's election but he has shown undeserved goodwill to Kambas through key appointments," he said.

He said Mr Muthama should first show the fruits of three past meetings he convened at his Komarock ranch - largely attended by Mr Musyoka's Wiper loyalists - before purporting to convene another one.

"The Kambas know that three of their sons and daughters - Alfred Mutua, Peninah Malonza and Monica Juma - sit in the Cabinet, the country's highest decision-making body. They know that the President has appointed three Principal Secretaries from the region, including East African Community (EAC) Secretary General Veronica Nduva and several heads of parastatals, so their agitation is misplaced," Mr Kawaya said.

Mr Kawaya told Mr Muthama, who is a commissioner in the Parliamentary Service Commission, that if the election results were anything to go by, the Kambas were "unjustifiably" included in Dr Ruto's government and therefore had no reason to brew discontent within Kenya Kwanza.

Their comments were echoed by Kibwezi West MP Mwengi Mutuse, who said Kamba leaders were on a political cliff and their exit from leadership was inevitable.

Mr Mutuse said a new generation of young leaders had emerged to take over political leadership in Ukambani and that those who had messed up the region couldn't be the ones to fix the problem.

Younger leader

He said the people of Mount Kenya had Kibaki, Uhuru and now another leader is about to emerge. In Rift Valley, they had former President Daniel arap Moi, now they have President Ruto and after his term, another younger leader will emerge.

The MP said in Ukambani, those who served under Moi and Kibaki are desperately trying to hang on instead of passing the baton to young emerging leaders because their time is up.

"I urge other young leaders to step up and take over. We need a different mindset that is pro-people, pro-nation and pro-development for the majority and not the old discredited ideology of big positions for the few," Mr Mutuse said.

 Mr Mutuse said more than 75 per cent of the electorate today is below the age of 30, but those who want to determine their destiny have been in leadership long before they were born, adding that a generational change must take place.

Mr Muthama's call for unity comes barely three days after President Ruto said he was keen on mentoring young leaders, including Mr Kawaya, to prepare them to take over the leadership of the country.

Speaking in Meru on Thursday, the President said he had deliberately given young MPs crucial responsibilities in running the country's affairs to help them gain experience in leadership.