in

Muthama denies claims that he plans to quit Wiper party

Machakos Senator Johnson Muthama on Sunday allayed fears that he will quit the Wiper Democratic Movement, even as he faulted the manner in which senior members of the party were being treated.

Mr Muthama dismissed reports that he was ditching Wiper for the Orange Democratic Movement, arguing that the party of former Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka has treated him with respect and has handed him nomination papers for the Machakos senator’s seat.

“You defect from a party when you have no ticket. I have nomination papers from Wiper. I have never been mistreated in Wiper, so why should I jump to another party?” he asked on phone.

The Machakos senator had called a press conference on Sunday morning, fuelling speculation that he was going to announce his defection from Wiper over alleged differences with Mr Musyoka. He, however, cancelled the press conference.

TROUBLED NOMINATIONS

Mr Muthama said his press conference was on the troubled nominations in Machakos, but he later learnt that the matter was before the courts.

“I learnt that the matter is before the courts and orders stopping the nominations had been obtained. I know the law and that is why I will wait until the ruling is issued,” he said.

But he warned that should the matter take too long, he will move to make an announcement.

“If it is not given soon, I will know what to do,” he said.

As he spoke in Nairobi, Wiper secretary-general Hassan Omar declined to comment on claims Mr Muthama was planning to quit.

ENORMOUS RESPECT

“I have enormous respect for him and I think I cannot speak much on his behalf. Mr Muthama has been one of my greatest defenders and my prayer is that he would continue to serve Wiper party and Kenyans in the capacity of Machakos senator in the most robust and aggressive way,” said Mr Omar.

READ: Senator Musila quits Wiper party

On the Machakos nominations, he said: “It was resolved that the primaries be held today. Two candidates are participating; Wavinya Ndeti and Bernard Kiala.”

The party received a blow last week after its chairman, Mr David Musila, quit in a huff after he lost to Kitui Governor Julius Malombe in the primaries. Mr Musila blamed Mr Musyoka for his failure to get the ticket.

Mr Muthama came to the defence of his colleague, arguing that voters should be given a chance to elect leaders of their choice.

DP Ruto terms Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto’s Nasa move as selfish

Governor Alfred Mutua to hold talks with Ukambani leaders