The winds of change swept Ukambani yesterday with the first violent rebellion against Wiper Democratic Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka, previously the undisputed leader of the community.
A rally to be addressed by Kalonzo at Kasikeu market in Kilome constituency, Makueni county, aborted after youths supporting area MP Regina Ndambuki created mayhem and denounced former Vice President Kalonzo.
Wielding stones, pangas and other crude weapons, the youths destroyed the dais prepared for Kalonzo, dismantled tents for invited guests, smashed plastic chairs and threw them around the marketplace.
Kalonzo had not yet arrived when the violence broke out.
Business at the usually busy market was disrupted for more than six hours as the youths ranted that they that they did not want to be addressed by Kalonzo and Machakos Senator Johnson Muthama.
The violence yesterday is continuation of the war of supremacy between Kalonzo and Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua as the country heads for the 2017 general election.
Kalonzo has been fighting back a tide of regional support for Mutua, and Ndambuki is among the MPs branded rebels for aligning with Mutua.
Kalonzo was endorsed by his party to run for President in 2017 and his tour of the county was meant to urge his supporters to get national ID cards and prepare to register as voters in November.
The youths, whom some said were haired, were waving banners reading Maendeleo Chap Chap, the slogan and new movement associated with Mutua
Some residents denounced the young rowdies.
"The youths do not seem like people we know from this area. They might have been paid to disrupt the whole function,” one resident told the Star.
“Where is our MP and MCA Paul Malinda?” the young men shouted. “There will be no political rally in Kilome without our elected leaders."
They said their MP had been roughed up
during the Wiper retreat in Maanzoni early this week when Kalonzo was endorsed to run for President.
"They say the MP was undressed and forced out of the meeting," one youth said.
Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana earlier without success to calm the angry youths.
They shouted Maendeleo Chap Chap whenever Kibwana attempted to address them.
Sensing violence to come, the governor asked colleagues to leave. They included Makueni MP Daniel Maanzo, Senator Mutula Jnr and other political leaders from Machakos and Kitui.
They joined Kalonzo at rallies in Wote, Emali and other towns.
Kibwana admitted Ndambuki had been kicked out of the Maanzoni, but said Kalonzo had saved her from hired goons.
The Kalonzo-Mutua battle is expected to intensify.
A week ago Mutua openly wept in public, claiming Kalonzo is undermining his efforts to liberate Ukambani from poverty
and hatching schemes with Machakos MCAs to remove him.