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KIBWANA tears into Kalonzo’s presidential bid

 Barely a day after Wiper Democratic Movement party leader Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka was endorsed on Saturday by his Ukambani backyard to run for presidency, criticism from some of his antagonists in the region has begun. 

Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka (centre) with Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi and other leaders in PCEA Kagaru Church, Meru County where he campaigned for his presidential bid. Kibwana has dismissed his presidential bid as weak with no substantial following outside Ukambani. Photo/COURTESY

Makueni governor Prof Kivutha Kibwana on Sunday issued a statement which tore on SKM’s bid for State House terming his candidature as weak.

Prof. Kibwana in a statement posted on his Facebook account said the Wiper leader had failed to individually marshal support outside his home turf of the South Eastern Kenya counties of Kitui, Machakos and Makueni.  “Normally SK’s reach gravitates around his region. When he ventures out on his own, the crowds are unfortunately lean,” he hit out at Mr. Musyoka.

Kibwana, a former Wiper party Chairman who fell out with Kalonzo after the latter declared himself as President Uhuru Kenyatta’s errands boy”, painted a picture of a leader who is not keen on winning the presidency but having his community vote for leaders in other elective positions under the Wiper party. “He hopes to create a Wiper ‘wave’ in Ukambani so that he can hoodwink the community and get MPs, governors and MCAs to use to bargain for himself in the next dispensation,” Prof. Kibwana argued.

UDA ticket

Moreover, the second term governor said that Kalonzo was presenting himself as a presidential candidate who could not win the country’s top seat but may only pull a meagre chunk of votes from his Ukambani backyard which has in the previous polls been Mr. Odinga’s stronghold. According to Kibwana, this move, if it succeeds could benefit the Deputy President William Ruto who is seeking to succeed President Kenyatta on a UDA ticket.

The attacks by Kibwana came even as Mr. Musyoka started a two-day tour of Meru County accompanied by a battery of other Wiper leaders. Interestingly, the Wiper boss was hosted by Meru governor who has openly declared to support Raila Odinga’s run for presidency.

The three Ukambani governors have also declared support for Raila’s presidency. Prof. Kibwana and his Machakos counterpart Dr Alfred Mutua both serving their second and final terms as county bosses had earlier announced their intentions to vie for president before making a silent u-turn and declaring support for Mr. Odinga’s Azimio la Umoja.  Their Kitui colleague – Charity Ngilu – a long time Kalonzo Musyoka’s foe who has for convenience played to be friendly to the former VP in the recent past is part of the Raila’s kitchen cabinet and has been wooing Mr. Musyoka to support Odinga for a third time.

But Mr Musyoka has been quoted saying he would rather retire to his rural Tseikuru home than support the former Prime Minister whom he said could not be trusted.

Mr. Musyoka’s endorsement for presidency at his Yatta farm over the weekend and holding of separate campaign rallies by his One Alliance Kenya (OKA) co-principal and Amani National Congress Party Leader Musalia Mudavadi at Nyamira county on Sunday could signify as Kibwana puts it, that OKA is dead. 


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