NATIONALNEWS

Muthama spits fire as cracks open in Wiper

Former Machakos senator blames Kalonzo for interfering with local politics saying it is hurting party’s performance

Fresh cracks have emerged in the Kalonzo Musyoka-led Wiper Democratic Movement party with former Machakos senator Johnstone Muthama telling his party boss to stop interfering with Ukambani politics.

Muthama said Kalonzo’s interference with local politics has been hurting Wiper party’s performance in the region.

The former senator told Kalonzo to keep off the Machakos governor by-election if the Supreme Court upholds the Appeal Court verdict to annul  Alfred Mutua’s election.

Last year, Muthama quit the race to defend his senate seat accusing Kalonzo of imposing candidates on voters in the controversial nominations. He added that their differences had reached an “irreconcilable” stage.

Among the issues that angered Muthama at that time was alleged mismanagement of party primaries in Machakos, Kitui and Makueni counties.

Muthama was unhappy that his preferred candidate for the governor’s seat, then deputy governor Bernard Kiala, was elbowed out and the ticket given to former Kathiani MP Wavinya Ndeti.

He said he was bitter with how Kalonzo’s close ally, and former East African Legislative Assembly (Eala) member Peter Mathuki, was roped into the deal as Ndeti’s runningmate.

  But Mutua successfully defended his seat on a Maendeleo Chap Chap party after garnering 249,000 votes against Ndeti’s 199,000.

Early this year, a Machakos High Court dismissed an election petition filed by Ndeti against Mutua on grounds of illegality and insufficient evidence.

In May, Wavinya successfully won an appeal overturning Mutua’s victory at the Court of Appeal. Mutua has since appealed the decision at the Supreme Court.

But even as residents of Machakos anticipate a by-election in the event the Supreme Court judges affirm the Appeals Court verdict, Muthama has expressed his disapproval of Mathuki as Wavinya’s deputy,  which is likely to go against the will of his party boss.

Speaking to journalists at his Tala home on Monday, Muthama said Kalonzo’s interference with local politics is unwelcome.

“Kalonzo should leave Machakos residents alone to choose who will be Wavinya Ndeti’s running mate should the Supreme Court order a gubernatorial by-election” he said.

Viewed as the political kingmaker in Ukambani, Muthama told Kalonzo to give residents freedom to choose their leaders.

“Our party leader should allow the people of Machakos to choose who will be Wavinya’s running-mate in case of by-election is ordered,” said Muthama.

Muthama blamed what he termed as bad leadership in Machakos on Kalonzo, whom he accused of having endorsed Mutua as the party’s flag bearer in the 2013 elections.

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