The move by Kalonzo Musyoka to pick Johnson Muthama’s wife to fly the Wiper party flag in the Machakos senator’s race has taken to a new level the phrase ‘political bedroom’. Kalonzo has literally invaded Muthama’s matrimonial bedroom and come out with his wife, Agnes Kavindu Muthama, for whom he is campaigning in the contest.
It is a decision that has left both friends and foes of Kalonzo dumbfounded as they scratch their heads bald in a bid to understand the strange political step. Those in the know however say that Peter Muthoka is the one who is behind the candidature of Kavindu. Muthoka has lately been battling Muthama in financial supremacy ego.
This has left Kalonzo in a dicy situation as his supporters do not understand the criteria used to arrive at Kavindu. Kavindu is not only the weakest politician among those who have expressed interest but also has never been a member of Wiper. She is a member of Jubilee party.
Given that one must have been a member of a political party for six months prior to contesting for a seat, it awaits to be seen whether Kavindu will clear that hurdle. However, some people are saying that Kalonzo, being the party leader, could have all the paper work doctored accordingly.
Indeed, it is a pointer as to how some Wiper members are against Kalonzo’s choice and they have demanded to be shown proof that Kavindu resigned from Jubilee party whose ticket she used to vie for the women representative seat in 2017. At the time, Kalonzo was rabidly anti-Jubilee and had told voters in Machakos to reject the party candidates totally.
But why would Kalonzo agree on Kavindu? Those in the know give two reasons. One group has it that Kavindu is being fronted by apart from Muthoka, Wavinya Ndeti whom many say seems to have Kalonzo’s ear. Wavinya is the chief administrative secretary in the ministry of Finance courtesy of Kalonzo’s political pact with Uhuru Kenyatta. She was also the Wiper gubernatorial aspirant for the 2017 poll where she lost to Alfred Mutua for a second time. In 2013, Wavinya lost the race when she ran on Chama Cha Uzalendo party while Mutua won on Kalonzo’s Wiper ticket.
That Kalonzo has now betrayed his allies in Wiper who had shown interest on the seat is proof of how tightly he is in the grip of Wavinya. It is said sometimes Wavinya behaves as if she has a special relationship with Kalonzo that other people do not know about.
Those who have been to meetings at Kalonzo’s Karen home say that Wavinya sometimes drapes herself in a leso and acts as if she is the woman of the house, running around making sure that meals are served to everyone’s satisfaction. Kalonzo’s wife Pauline has been bedridden for years with cancer. Her situation has been improving steadily.
Because Wavinya creates the impression of being Kalonzo’s darling, she has now converted that perception into influence over Wiper MPs and senators who fear that due to her closeness to Kalonzo, she can make or break their careers.
As a result, she armtwisted MPs who were in the interview panel that vetted aspirants in what many say is a predetermined decision and so the process is just a formality.
Those in the panel were Makueni MP Daniel Maanzo who has been in the party since its formation. Maanzo is the one who registered ODM-K and has its registration certificate in his custody. When Kalonzo was wrestling Raila Odinga over the party control in 2007, the Makueni MP was the spanner boy and now Wavinya is the Wiper party leader’s right hand person.
Also in the panel were Kitui senator Enock Wambua and his Makueni counterpart Mutula Kilonzo. The two never object to anything Wavinya says because all they care about now is to please Kalonzo so that they can secure the Wiper ticket in next year’s general elections.
Among those who appeared before the panel are Kalembe Ndile, Jackson Kala and the late Boniface Kabaka’s wife Jennifer Kabaka. Kala was Wiper’s candidate in the 2017 elections where he lost to Kabaka by a slim margin of 4000 votes.
Kala had been Wiper supporters’ favourite and the region is still in shock that Kalonzo abandoned him. A day before the unveiling of Kavindu, Kalonzo took Kala to State House where they met Uhuru who promised Kala a government post in exchange of stepping down.
Others in the delegation where Kavindu, Kalembe Ndile, and Jeniffer Kabaka. Kala’s supporters are now accusing Kalonzo of betraying their man at the hour of need and have threatened a protest vote against Kavindu. There are even those who say that Kalonzo has crossed the lines of culture by befriending the wife of his friend turned foe.
A member of the panel, who sought anonymity, said that they knew that Kavindu is not the best choice but they had no say because Wavinya wants to have a weak senator. It is claimed Wavinya wants a weak candidate to run for the seat on Wiper and lose the senate seat since she is eyeing the gubernatorial seat in 2022. A strong senator, it is claimed, might want to run for the governor’s seat in 2022 and become a stumbling block to Wavinya.
But even as Wavinya does her calculation, the choice of Kavindu is said to be going down well with Kalonzo who feels that he has been handed a weapon to beat Muthama hands down. Kalonzo reportedly wants to use Kavindu to settle political scores with Muthama as he knows that she will use the platform to attack and expose the former senator. Muthama has lately declared war on Kalonzo after he skipped to William Ruto’s camp where he now is the chairman of United Development Alliance.
Nothing would make Kalonzo happier than to sit at a campaign rally and listen to none other than Muthama’s wife tear her former husband to pieces.
Yet others say that Kalonzo prefers Kavindu because she has money for her campaigns having made millions in a year as a member of the Building Bridges Initiative taskforce. The members of the taskforce were paid millions of shillings that some, like Kavindu, has bought a house in the leafy Nairobi’s Lavington in less than a year.
But even as Wiper dithers, other parties are already hitting the ground running with Mutua’s Maendeleo Chap chap party having picked former Mwala MP Mutua Katuku to carry its flag. Katuku, who was a minister in the president Mwai Kibaki government, has lately fallen on hard economic times and the governor is said to have given him money to buy “cloths for campaigns”.
Indeed, Mutua alluded to this when as he announced Katuku as their candidate, said “tutampamba na kumtengeneza”.
In UDA, there is still a misunderstanding with Machakos Town MP Victor Munyaka preferring Peter Kaindi to get the ticket. Muthama prefers former Machakos deputy governor Benard Kiala to get the ticket