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November 15, 2018

Wiper settles for Jackson Kala after Muthama quits senator race

A file photo of Machakos county's former Education chief officer Jackson Kala in his office. /ANDREW MBUVA
A file photo of Machakos county's former Education chief officer Jackson Kala in his office. /ANDREW MBUVA

Kalonzo Musyoka's Wiper party has picked former Education chief officer Jackson Kala as its candidate for the Machakos senator race.

Kala was given the certificate on Wednesday evening after Senator Johnson Muthama declared he will not defend his seat.

Agatha Solitei, the party's National Elections Board chairperson, said he was picked because the party could not go without a candidate for the position. The party did not hold nominations for the position.

“The deadline for all political parties to submit their candidates to the IEBC was Wednesday," Solitei noted in a phone interview with The Star yesterday.

She downplayed the possibility of negotiations with Muthama saying the board had made its decision.

“I know there are some leaders who might have tried to reach out to Muthama but our mandate as a board was to ensure the party had candidates for at least all positions,' she said. "We were running out of time."

Solitei said the incumbent was at liberty to launch an appeal with bodies within the party, including the Elections Appeals Board.

At a media briefing in Machakos town on Wednesday, Kala said he was up to the task.

“All I can tell my supporters is that we are ready for this. The party leader has assured me we will go door to door to ensure we deliver this seat to the party again," said the candidate who initially wanted to vie for Machakos Town MP.

Read: Machakos education boss quits and prepares run for town MP

Kala criticised Muthama saying he tried to hold the party and its leaders at ransom and that he his interests were selfish.

“Wiper, as a movement, cannot be held at ransom by an individual. The party is bigger than each member. N no one should expect its leaders to wait for them," he said.

He further accused the Senator of trying to blackmail Kalonzo in public.

“Who is Muthama to tell Kalonzo to prepare for a bruising battle? That is blackmail and by all means. Party members should have respect for their bosses."

Muthama quit the race citing massive irregularities and injustice in the party.

He said only the chosen few were given tickets and that Kalonzo was mismanaging the party.

The Senator announced he will not campaign anywhere for the party under NASA but will support ODM leader Raila Odinga, who is the coalition's presidential candidate. Kalonzo is Raila's running mate.

More on this: Muthama quits Machakos senator race, accuses Kalonzo of mismanaging Wiper

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