Kamba leaders drawn from three different parties including erstwhile political enemy of Kalonzo Musyoka, Charity Ngilu have endorsed the Wiper leader as the only choice for Nasa presidential ticket.
The endorsement further complicates the almost impossible role of a 12-member committee tasked with unveiling the National Super Alliance (Nasa) best bet to floor President Uhuru Kenyatta in the August polls.
The other contestants fighting for the Nasa ticket are Orange Democratic Movement’ (ODM) leader Raila Odinga, Musalia Mudavadi (Amani National Congress) and Moses Wetang’ula of Ford Kenya.
Stung by constant criticism that Mr Musyoka had no full control of the Kamba vote, the leaders said they were working towards what he said was unflinching Ukambani unity but with a bigger purpose of clinching the presidency in the August 8 General Election.
“We are working on regional unity, which is very important as we look forward to August 8,” Mr Musyoka said at Ole Sereni Hotel, Nairobi where he met the leaders.
Apart from National Rainbow Coalition (Narc)’s Ms Ngilu, Mr Musyoka also met Chama Cha Uzalendo’s Wavinya Ndeti and Prof Kivutha Kibwana of Muungano Party, but who has since defected to Wiper.
Mrs Ngilu, a former Cabinet Secretary whose corruption case was withdrawn this week, said that Mr Musyoka was a formidable Kamba leader who would make a good president.
“Every time Kalonzo Musyoka and I work together, we get a certainly better country.
The Kamba is now well over 2 million voters and we deserve a seat at the high table. The Nasa principals must agree to pick the best and let the country move on,” said Mrs Ngilu.
Ms Ndeti, who wants to unseat Machakos governor Alfred Mutua, said that Mr Musyoka was the community’s “only option” in the Nasa search for the presidency.
“If Nasa wants to win, give the seat to Kalonzo Musyoka. For the Kamba, he is our option number 1, 2, 3, 4 until infinity,” she said.
At the heart of the endorsement of Mr Musyoka was a silent threat from the Kamba community that they had the numbers in the Nasa fold and that Mr Musyoka was the best pick or else . . .
“Just let us not speculate on what will happen after picking of the Nasa flag bearer. Let us see who will be picked and then we move on,” said Prof Kibwana.
He, however, insisted that Wiper will not bolt out of Nasa if denied the top position.
According to him, time had come for a Musyoka presidency.
“The Kamba are about 2.5 million voters and we have agreed to do everything humanly possible to ensure that these votes are in one basket and support Kalonzo’s bid for the Nasa presidency,” said Prof Kibwana.
Mr Musyoka has insisted that he is the best bet to kick out President Kenyatta, insisting that he will run a corrupt-free government with a 50-50 gender representation.
He dismissed as malicious unconfirmed reports that he had met President Kenyatta in Mombasa after their Coastal tours.
“These reports are malicious and are geared toward creating enmity that should not be there. It should be condemned by all lovers of Nasa,” said an infuriated Mr Musyoka.
NGILU IN NASA
In the meantime, Ms Ngilu said she will now work with Nasa and urged the four co-principals to conclude the process of naming their presidential candidate.
“Nasa principals must agree and give Kenyans the best candidate. This election will be a repeat of the 2002 General Election when broad coalition of leaders united under the National Rainbow Coalition to defeat Kanu” she said adding that the next presidential election was for the Opposition to lose but urged the top Nasa leaders to pick the best among themselves who can send Jubilee home in August.
She spoke after a breakfast meeting with Mr Musyoka and the other Ukambani leaders to celebrate her acquittal in the land case.
The former CS got a reprieve on Monday after the trial court terminated charges against her in relation to Sh8 billion Karen land saga, following an order by Court of Appeal.
“I have forgiven my accusers but I know Kenyans will one day get the best government service they deserve because we are going to change the country’s leadership” she said.
Pledging to work with Nasa leaders, the former CS thanked the Wiper leader, her long -time political rival, for standing with her during the trial saying she will work closely with Mr Musyoka for the benefit of all Kenyans.
“Like it happened before in 2002, when we set aside our differences with Mr Musyoka and worked together in Narc, it will be the same again this year and Kenya will certainly be a better place” she said.
In the deal, Mrs Ngilu’s Narc, Ms Wavinya Ndeti’s Chama Cha Uzalendo and Mr Mutua Katuku’s People’s Trust Party agreed to rally the Kamba community behind and push their agenda within the National Super Alliance.
Mr Katuku, a former minister in the Kibaki regime, said the leaders resolved to push for Mr Musyoka to be the Nasa flag bearer and ensure the Kamba community votes as a block for the Opposition coalition.
The move by the three politicians to throw their weight behind Mr Musyoka’s presidential bid comes barely two week after Governor Kibwana ditched his Muungano party which sponsored his election in 2013, for Wiper party.