Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka must be one of the happiest and contented politicians now after proving he is the undisputed Ukambani political kingpin in the just concluded Machakos senatorial by-elections.
In the run-up to the election, observers held Kalonzo had everything to prove after his allies Musalia Mudavadi, Moses Wetangula safely proved they can deliver votes from their respective regions after by-elections in Matungu and Kabucahi constituencies respectively.
To make matters worse for the man from Tseikuru, he also had to fend off an assault from United Democratic Party (UDA), an outfit heavily associated with Deputy President William Ruto.
Politicians allied to Ruto had vowed to show Wipers’ candidate Agnes Kavindu dust in the by-election, a fact which forced the so-called sacred alliance of Moses Wetangula, Mudavadi, Kalonzo, and Gideon Moi to pitch camp in Machakos, drumming up support for Wipers’ candidate.
“Sensing crushing defeat from UDA, deep state, in connivance with Maendeleo Chap Chap (MCC), has sweet-talked the MCC candidate to withdraw from Machakos senatorial by-election in favour of the weak Wiper candidate. We’re going to hang them together on election day,” said nominated Nairobi Senator Millicent Omanga a few days to the by-election.
Omanga spoke hours after Maendeleo Chap Chap withdrew its candidate from the by-election with its party leader, Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua, saying the intention is to ensure UDA does not win.
“…In this regard, so as to ensure that the National Unity Agenda succeeds and that detractors such as UDA, do not get an opportunity to roll back the achievements so far, we have decided to withdrew our candidate,” read a statement from Maendeleo Chapa Chap party.
With former Machakos senator and Wiper party chief financier Johstone Muthama, who fell out with Kalonzo, being the chairman of UDA and fronting his younger brother Urbunus Ngengele Muthama, the stakes appeared so high and heavily stacked against Kaolonzo.
Interestingly though, Kalonzo’s party had fielded Muthama’s former wife, Agnes Kavindu who still uses the name Muthama. It was technically a Muthama family affair.
When the dust settled on the by-elections and results announced on March 19 however, the Wiper party had registered a convincing win.
There was no doubt which party or rather which politician controls the Kamba vote.
Wiper party’s candidate had won in 8 out of 8 constituencies and garnered over 100,000 votes against less than 20,000 votes by her UDA opponent, who came second.
Kalonzo’s statement told it all. It spoke of a man who heaved with a heavy sigh of relief and a man who now has the confidence to negotiate with his new political partners going forward.
“Thank you to the people of Machakos for your overwhelming vote in favour of the Wiper candidate Agnes Kavindu Muthama in the just concluded senatorial by-election. This is your win! congratulations. Asante sana,” he said through a social media statement.
Having won by a margin of over 80%, Kalonzo can confidently say he can deliver the Ukambani voting block and as such burgain for a bigger stake in any political formation ahead of 2022.
Uncorfnfimed political reports suggest Kalonzo, Gideon Moi, Wetangula, and Mudavadi are gearing up for an alliance ahead of 2022 General Election to face William Ruto.
What is more, the alliance is said to have the blessings of President Uhuru Kenyatta who, it is believed, will pick a successor from them ahead of next year’s poll.
While all the four politicians have come under sharp criticism over failure to pull crowds beyond their home counties, Kalonzo seems to have proven beyond reasonable doubt he can delover the entire Kamba nation vote through the Machakos by-election.
William Ruto on the other hand shall be left with more questions than answers over the popularity of his UDA party, which has since won only one out of about 8 by-elections in the recent past.
This is made worse by the fact his nationwide rallies pull huge crowds than even Kalonzo, Mudavadi, Wetangula and Gideon Moi can collectively pull but the very crowds fail to deliver when it matters most.
In Matungu constituency, UDA candidate emerged third behind Mudavadi’s Amani party’s and Raila Odinga’s DOM party candidates.
In Kabuchai constituency, UDA’s candidate emerged second although convincingly beaten by Wetangula’s Ford-K candidate who garnered 56% of the votes cast.
Kipchumab Murkomen, a staunch Ruto ally, however, believes their party is doing very well considering it was just formed recently.
“In Machakos county, Kabuchai constituency, Msambweni constituency, and Nakuru (London ward) UDA, a new party, has demonstrated its credentials as a national party with no tribal/regional boundaries. Congratulations to (Johnstone) Muthama, MPs Munyaka Kawaya, Mbai, and team for the great work in Masaku (Machakos county), he said after the loss to the Wiper party in Machakos.
It is not yet clear if or not William Ruto shall vie for the presidency on UDA, considering his falling out of favour with the Jubilee party, which is even contemplating kicking him out of the party leadership.