By Allan Tawai.
NASA flag bearer Raila Odinga has scolded Machakos Senator Johnson Muthama and told him to stop criticizing his running mate Kalonzo Musyoka.
Muthama has been critical of Kalonzo and has openly told off the NASA presidential running mate, accusing him of handpicking Wiper candidates in Ukambani.
The Wiper party leader said Muthama’s affiliation with Raila and stand on coalition matters was causing confusion amongst their followers, especially in Ukambani region.
“Raila has personally spoken to the senator and asked him to work with Kalonzo,” an aide to Raila said.
On Friday while he was in Machakos, Kalonzo called Muthama several times but the senator did not answer his calls. Kalonzo then spoke to Raila about his efforts to reach out to Muthama.
Raila then called the gemstones magnate who promised to meet Kalonzo after attending to his sick mother.
Muthama failed to show up but instead on Saturday went to the burial of David Musila’s mother in Kitui. There he launched a scathing attack on Kalonzo who was present.
Kalonzo considered Muthama extremely disrespectful and he decided to respond to Muthama on Sunday after a church service in Mlolongo.
“It is unacceptable that Muthama is fighting Wiper candidates. His reasons for withdrawing from the party do not hold water. Kalonzo is supporting choices made by the people and he has an obligation to campaign for them now that the primaries are over,” Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Jnr said.
Pascal Ndei, a political commentator in Ukambani, said the fight between Kalonzo and Muthama was all about control of the Ukambani vote.
“You cannot rule out a regional supremacy battle in all this. To me, it is actually a matter of one trying to challenge the other’s political command. Muthama has always had a preferred line-up running parallel to that of Kalonzo,” Ndei said
If his team succeeded, according to Ndei, Muthama would have slowly but steadily replaced Kalonzo as the Ukambani leader, especially because he has a lot of money that he has used to finance his aspirants.
In an open letter to Muthama shortly after the senator announced he will not be defending his seat, Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana said Muthama had crossed “the ethical and moral line” by attacking Kalonzo.
Kivutha explained that he opted out of Wiper in 2013 because Muthama insisted that Wiper had to give Prof Philip Kaloki the ticket.
Kibwana said that Wiper lost many seats in Parliament because of Muthama’s interference,
Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka on Sunday also said that Raila will at some point be forced to choose between him and Muthama.
“You are either with us or not with us, you should not speak a language that our people cannot understand, there will come a time to choose between Raila and me, and those other people (Muthama) will have to do so that it becomes clear,” he said.