Followers of William Ruto in Ukambani want him to bankroll a party in Ukambani that can be seen as a homegrown party and therefore not a foreign party in the area. Those pushing the idea say that it will be difficult for Ruto to make headway in Ukambani if he is brought there by any other party be it Jubilee because Kambas are particularly unwelcoming to outside parties as they are seen to be challenging their universally accepted party Wiper of Kalonzo Musyoka.
It has been noticed in Ukambani that parties that are not headed by Kambas do not do well against the dominant Wiper party. On the contrary, and this is the reason Ruto’s local pointmen say they want a home party, parties that are led by Kambas generally perform relatively impressively against Kalonzo’s party.The latest Kambaland party to make a dent in Kalonzo’s Wiper being Muungano party that Makueni governor Kivutha Kibwana left in the buildup to the last elections for Kalonzo’s Wiper. Had Kivutha remained in Wiper, political observers in Ukambani say, Kalonzo would have been without a single governor in his own bedroom as Kivutha would easily have retained his seat that he won on Muungano in 2013.
Kivutha is back in Muungano after he was booted out of Wiper where he was the chairman last year. The Makueni governor must be regretting having left Muungano because had he not abandoned it would have produced a governor in himself, MPs, MCAs and perhaps a senator. Now, Kivutha is having to build Muungano that in the last term had produced Yatta MP Francis Mwangangi from almost a scratch. Muungano party is incidentally one of the parties that Kambas in Ruto’s camp are mulling over aligning to Ruto and making it the vehicle Ruto is to make inroads in the subregion in. As a matter of fact, none other than Kivutha himself seems receptive to this idea after he recently wondered loudly why he should be told not to be talking to Ruto.
This was construed by watchers to mean that Kivutha could be in talks with Ruto with a view to hitching his wagon to Ruto’s train.It will be interesting to see how Kivutha and Johnson Muthama who is Ruto’s de facto man in Ukambani will relate to each other given that it is believed that Kivutha’s entry into Wiper is what hastened Muthama’s fallout with Kalonzo in the months before the last elections. Muthama is believed to have been against Kivutha being made the Wiper chairman saying that Kivutha is a hardboiled radical who can never cook in the same political pot with Kalonzo who is a known conformist of the establishment and feels like a fish out of water whenever he is outside government while Kivutha feels the opposite.
Muthama’s fears have come to pass and Kivutha and Kalonzo are now facing different directions this time Kivutha facing the same direction and Kalonzo the other Muthama on his part had been asking Kalonzo to work with Ruto but Kalonzo has flatly declined and instead thrown his lot with Uhuru Kenyatta who is going home, much to the distress of his followers who wonder what possible political benefit Kalonzo sees in an outgoing president who has no following anymore in his out Kenya area and as such can not offload any votes worth counting to Kalonzo.
The other party that has given Wiper a headache in Ukambani is Narc of Kitui governor Charity Ngilu who also has indicated that she doesn’t have time for Ruto and who, like Kalonzo, is throwing her support to Uhuru although those who know her say that she hates Uhuru more than she is against Ruto and that she is expressing her support for Uhuru with an eye to the building bridges initiative so-called by Uhuru and Raila Odinga that she calculates will, if it is adopted, place a big national seat on her lap preferably a deputy premier office. Should the BBI see the light of day and she senses that she is not going to get a seat in the Uhuru-Raila formation, it is said, Ngilu could easily pivot to Ruto’s axis and throw her weight behind him.
It would be a political buy more than Ruto’s men and women in Ukambani bargained for because as parties come, none comes bigger than Narc after Wiper in Ukambani. With Ngilu behind Ruto whom many Kambas are seeing as the one likely to occupy State House after Uhuru, Ruto would upset Kalonzo’s political designs in Ukambani in a major way. Ngilu’s situation vis-a-viz Ruto is similar to that of Machakos governor Alfred Mutua who has been attacking Ruto as if Ruto is his most ardent competitor in the race for State House that Mutua has declared he is in yet Mutua’s Maendeleo Chap Chap party would be the most unimpactful for Ruto was Mutua to decide to back Ruto.
Mutua, it is said, has no money to mount a presidential campaign having spent the seven years at the helm of Machakos county allegedly womanizing so much that was it a sport, he would have easily bagged an Olympic gold medal for Kenya. All the money, it is said, has gone to the pockets of his chief of staff Mwengi Mutuse who is seen by many as the power behind the throne. Mwengi is said to be eyeing the Kibwezi West parliamentary seat in Makueni where he has allegedly told his friends that he will be buying a vote at Sh3,000 each if necessary.
Mwengi’s big talk has angered the people of Machakos who say it is adding salt to the wound that their money has been going to do private projects in Makueni instead of doing public good in Machakos county. Another party that Ruto men in Ukambani have been pushing to become Ruto’s affiliate party in Ukambani in Chama Cha Uzalendo associated with Wavinya Ndeti who is the chief administrative secretary of Transport and in the last elections ran for Machakos county seat on Wiper party. Like Kivutha, Wavinya joined Kalonzo in the months before the last election defecting from CCU to Wiper.
Like Kivutha who did not cut his ties with Muungano, Wavinya did not cut his ties with CCU and even as she contested for the Machakos county governor’s seat on Wiper, Wavinya was calling the shots in CCU deciding who was to get the party’s nomination ticket in Ukambani. That Wavinya is riding two horses at the same time being demonstrated by the fact that earlier in the year, she had a Machakos MCA denied an assembly position because she in 2017 declared war on the MCA for contesting on Wiper instead of on her CCU. One of the people said to be pushing the idea of Ruto using a Kamba party to woe Kambas is Davies Musau who has been in politics for as long as anyone can remember and who was one of the 1992 young Turks who campaigned for Jaramogi Oginga Odinga.
Musau has been working with Muthama to make the path smooth for Ruto in Ukambani but it is not clear how successful he has been in convincing Muthama to sell the idea to Ruto. There are also those who say that the Pick party of John Harun Mwau could come in handy. Pick is the second oldest party in Kenya after Kanu having been registered in 1991. Why Pick could become a likely choice is because its leader Mwau, tells everyone that he is going to vote for Ruto and only two people would he vote for if they contested against Ruto: Jesus and Mohamed. Kalembe Ndile is also standing by to auction his Tip Tip party to Ruto and is salivating gallons in anticipation. It is said Kalembe, smelling millions, is quietly reregistering Tip Tip after he dissolved it in Jubilee.