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Don’t force us to join Azimio, Mutula Kilonzo Jnr tells Ukambani governors

 Wiper Democratic Movement party has warned against being forced to join the Azimio la Umoja Movement of ODM party leader Raila Odinga. 


Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Jnr (in blue jeans) with other leaders inspect Wote Stadium. Photo/COURTESY

Party’s Vice Chairman and Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Junior came out to fiercely defend his party leader Kalonzo Musyoka against what he termed as unwarranted attacks by a section of Ukambani leaders who have been advancing Azimio coalition politics in the region.

Junior wondered why governors Kivutha Kibwana, Alfred Mutua and Charity Ngilu have been trading scathing attacks at Kalonzo while at the same time calling for him to join Azimio

He spoke on Saturday during a burial at Kaiti in Makueni County where he met the trio for the first time after they began their series of rallies to popularize Odinga’s bid in the region which is considered Wiper’s stronghold and who’s perceived kingpin is Mr. Musyoka.

Last week, the three county bosses began a series of rallies to drum up support for the former Prime Minister who is seeking to succeed President Kenyatta when he retires in August this year. After touring Machakos and Makueni counties earlier in the week on Saturday, they pitched camp at Mutomo town in Kitui County where they addressed a political rally before attending the burial at the neighbouring Makueni County where they faced off with a visibly angry Senator Kilonzo Junior.  The governors were accompanied by their Kakamega counterpart Wycliffe Oparanya, ODM Secretary General Edwin Sifuna and Jubilee politician Peter Kenneth.

KSh 3 billion demand

The youthful lawmaker who is seeking to become the second governor of Makueni under a Wiper ticket challenged the governors to prove claims they made during a rally in Makueni that Mr. Musyoka had demanded a KSh 3 billion for him to join Azimio.

“You governors met last week and said you wanted Kalonzo to join Azimio. You also said Kalonzo asked for money – KSh 3 billion. I want you to stand here and tell us when Kalonzo asked for money and from who and where”, said Jnr amid cheers from the mourners. He added: “Indi ko mutwosaa ata inywe (How do you people really perceive us)?”

The lawmaker accused the ODM leader of using the three governors to woo Kalonzo to Azimio instead of engaging the Wiper boss directly. “Kalonzo ni mtu mtulivu; hata hawezi kuinua kidole. And if you want Kalonzo to be in Azimio, why would you insult him?” he posed.

 “Oparanya go and ask Raila Odinga that question because he has not called Kalonzo to tell him to enter Azimio. Ametuma Charity, ametuma Mutua na governor Kibwana waseme Kalonzo aingie Azimio.”

Junior warned that the Kamba community would not be forcefully dragged into the Azimio faction. He said there was a written political pact that was entered in 2017 and which saw the region solidly vote for Mr. Odinga. The agreement, according to the Senate Minority Leader Raila, was to support Mr. Musyoka’s presidential bid in 2022.

He was however quick to dismiss the possibility of joining the Kenya Kwanza coalition of Deputy President William Ruto. “We rejected the wheelbarrow a long time ago. We dislodged the wheelbarrow’s (kamii) wheel and if you play with us we are even going to puncture the tractor’s (tinga) tyres,” Junior said.

Kilonzo Jnr demanded for respect to the Kamba community threatening that they would not join any coalition if the community and its leader is not accorded the respect he deserves.

“That is the position of this community. We will stand on our own if we are not respected and see whether the earth will stop rotating. Everybody now knows that Kalonzo is not somebody to ignore. You are not going to take us to Azimio by force. You will not!”  he warned.

Governor Kibwana in a quick rejoinder said there was a clearest indication that Raila was poised for a presidential win and Kalonzo should join the Azimio instead of waiting until it is too late. He vowed to continue drumming support for the former premier in the county and beyond.

 His Kakamega counterpart Oparanya said that Odinga has never been disrespectful to the former VP who was his running mate in 2013 and 2017 general elections.


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