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February 19, 2019

Kalonzo’s shoes too huge to fill, say lawmakers

Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka addresses a rally in Isiolo
Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka addresses a rally in Isiolo

Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka is the undisputed kingpin in Ukambani and those thinking otherwise are envious and wasting their time, two lawmakers have said.

Mwingi Central MP Gideon Mulyungi and his Makueni counterpart Dan Maanzo on Thursday said Kalonzo’s political shoes are so huge that no leader from the region can fill them at the moment.

Governors Kivutha Kibwana (Makweni), Charity Ngilu (Kitui) and Alfred Mutua (Macahkos) have ganged up against the former Vice President, saying it is time he hung up his boots. They plan to form an economic bloc to spur growth and blame Kalonzo for the region’s poverty.

Only Kibwana was elected on the Wiper ticket. Ngilu ran on the Narc ticket while Mutua flew theMaendeleo Chap Chap flag. All of them are facing a backlash from their Wiper-dominated county assemblies over their strained relations with Kalonzo.

On Thursday, Mulyungi and Maanzo accused the trio of being guns for hire. They said leaders from other regions are using the county chiefs to cut Kalonzo down to size, which they termed impossible.

“They have been promised jobs after they finish their terms. But when you go to the grassroots, the kingpin is Steven Kalonzo Musyoka. There is no other. Others have not reached the age where they can produce heirs politically. No one can fill Kalonzo’s shoes in Lower Eastern,” Mulyungi said.

They spoke in Mombasa on the sidelines of a meeting of the National Assembly Committee on Delegated Duties.

Maanzo said many politicians from Ukambani, including Kibwana, Ngilu and Mutua, have benefitted immensely from Kalonzo’s stewardship.

“They are now trying to destabilise him — which is laughable. Kalonzo is our leader and it will remain so until God decides otherwise,” he said.

Kibwana has informally offered to resign as Wiper chairman. He accused Kalonzo of reneging on the pre-election pact that Muungano Party had with Wiper. He was previously in Muungano before the party, in his own words, lent him to Wiper in the lead-up to the last election.

Mulyungi and Maanzo said they are waiting for the governor to tender his resignation officially so they can take the next step.

On Wednesday, Mutua and Machakos Senator Boniface Kabaka blamed hardline party politics for the region’s underdevelopment.

They urged MCAs to join hands with their governors in development.

The leaders spoke during the burial of businessman Paul Mbole in Kalama, Machakos constituency.

At the same function, however, former Machakos Senator Johnson Muthama called for calm. He appealed to the region to remain steadfast behind Kalonzo’s 2022 presidential bid.

Through Kalonzo’s presidency, the region will get more development projects faster than in any other way, he said.

“Since Kalonzo assumed the region’s leadership mantle from Mulu Mutisya, no other Kamba politician has risen to his level. It will only be prudent that we all respect and support him,” Muthama said.

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