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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Yatta meeting leaves Kalonzo firefighting

Leaders from Ukambani who attended a meeting at the party leader’s home in Yatta have expressed displeasure on the manner it was conducted. The meeting called by Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka was attended by political leaders, opinion leader and religious leaders drawn across the three counties went out of control after leaders allied to Machakos Senator Johnson Muthama demanded that Kalonzo state his position of rebel leaders now working closely with Jubilee government. The meeting was however snubbed by top civil servants from the region and MP’s now working with government who declared it a waste of time and only aimed at saving the political career of the Wiper leader.
According to planners of the meeting, Kalonzo was expected to declare his political position and gave the community direction now that he is in unfamiliar territory of opposition. Leaders also expected the party leader to read the riot act on Machakos governor Alfred Mutua for defying the party’s position.
Although the governor had confirmed attendance, he sent his chief of staff Mwengi Mutuse and chief officer Nimrod Mbai who caused uproar after leaders allied to Muthama demanding their immediate departure from the event. Kalonzo reprimanded Muthama and twisted the meeting to a supremacy battle between the two.
Leaders were left wondering why Kalonzo himself was bitter with MPs supporting the government and have a soft spot on the governor who has publicly supported the government including hosting Uhuru Kenyatta in Machakos. According to leaders coalescing around Muthama who later released a press statement declaring the meeting a sham, Kalonzo was playing to the gallery even when integrity issues about Governor Mutua were raised by leaders but was quick to call for dissolution of neighbouring Makueni county and declared his support for Governor Kibwana who was also present.
It is said that Mutua is bragging that he had bought the food and drinks that those in Yatta took. This according to Mutua’s opponents has forced Kalonzo to remain a fence sitter only enjoying their bitter rivalry.
At the meeting, lack of agenda led to leaders dismissing the meeting and accusing Kalonzo of mis-using them for his self political gain. Throwing the first salvo was Kalonzo’s  loyalist Kathiani MP Robert Mbui who told Kalonzo to come open on his presidential plans.
Two days later Machakos Town MP Victor Munyaka launched the Ukambani Leaders Development  Forum flanked by leaders from the three counties. The forum  is to mobilise leaders for development. According Munyaka, Kalonzo has fallen short of expectations on the Makueni county matter because he should be calling for a truce amongst the camps with the aim of reconciling them for the sake of development. According to Munyaka, it is defeatist for Kalonzo to take  the dissolution course in Makueni because there is no telling whether those who will be elected will be different from the ones they want removed and so it makes more sense politically to iron out the differences. Besides, the forum feels, it will be nonsensical economically as the funds wasted on campaigns  can go into development to say least of the fact that the time wasted will never be recovered.
What is more worrisome  though,     Munyaka said, is that the Makueni syndrome is being introduced to Machakos through Machakos senator Johnson Muthama and Cord to sabotage development. Machakos county, Munyaka said, should be left alone and advised that Kambas want development and do not care who will be president in 2017 so long as he or she delivers development.
Those against  Kambas associating with Jubilee, he said, are enemies of development who are threatened by any leader who brings development because they have no development record to show for their decades in power. He gave the example of the cancellation of Uhuru’s tour to Kitui which would have seen Uhuru launch development projects as showing that there are some people who do not mean well for Kambas.
Yatta MP Francis Mwangangi has called on Kalonzo to exit politics and leave the stage to new leaders.
Back to the Yatta meeting, Kalonzo had to call a meeting at Ole-Sereni with leaders opposed to Mutua led by deputy governor Bernard Kiala to cool tempers after they threatened to leave him for siding with Mutua. During the meeting the 20 MCAs at loggerheads with the governor demanded to know his position on the matter. According to an insider, Kalonzo promised to clear his name from the Mutua funding talk going around in a public rally to be organised in Machakos. Mutua claims he pays Kalonzo’s workers, fuels his vehicles and gives him cash to contribute in harambees.