Nairobi, August 25, 2020
My attention has been drawn to malicious utterances by former Machakos Senator Johnston Muthama, and which have been circulating in a section of the media, whereby he described the Wiper Democratic Movement-Kenya as “a tribal party”.
While my first reaction was to laugh off the malicious utterances as the joke of the year, I have come to the conclusion that Muthama could actually have tweeted in absolute ignorance of the true status of the Wiper Democratic Movement-Kenya — the political party he abandoned in the run-up to the 2017 General Election.
The facts are as follows:
The WDM-K that Muthama left in 2017 has grown to be the third largest political party in Kenya after Jubilee and Orange Democratic Movement (ODM). Moreover, its popularity is growing in leaps and bounds, if the huge numbers of Kenyans seeking to register as members are anything to go by.
Secondly, the WDM-K is proud to be represented in various parts of the country through elected Governors, National Assembly, Senate and Members of the County Assembly. In 2017, the party managed to secure parliamentary seats in such areas as Borabu (Nyamira), Wajir West, Bura (Tana River), Kisauni (Mombasa), Wundanyi (Taita Taveta), and Nairobi (Embakasi South), not to mention bagging the Taita Taveta gubernatorial post and well over 129 MCAs from all over the country including Busia, Homabay, Garissa, Wajir, Kajiado, Turkana, Tana River etc. This is without mentioning an almost clean sweep of all the legislative and civic seats in Ukambani.
Thirdly, the WDM-K has the following as the top officials: Party Leader H.E. Kalonzo Musyoka is deputized by Farah Maalim and Shakila Abdala (from North Eastern and Coast, respectively). The Chairman Chirau Ali Mwakwere is from Coast, while Secretary-General Judith Sijeny is from Nyanza. Among the four Vice-Chairs are Mutula Kilonzo Junior, Victor Swanya Ogeto (Kisii), Martin Ole Kamwaro (Rift Valley-Narok), and Anne Kanyi (Central). The same pattern applies to the membership of National Executive Council (NEC) the main governing organ of the party. Therefore, WDM-K ‘s national composition, representation, and outlook, are beyond reproach.
Fourthly, the WDM-K is led by an internationally acclaimed diplomat by the name Hon. Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka — whose endeavors have helped pacify hitherto volatile nations such as South Sudan, Somalia, and the Demoçratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Few political leaders in Kenya can match Kalonzo’s diplomatic gravitas.
What is most amusing is that Muthama is talking of other parties, while he himself is party-less. One can, therefore, understand the frustration being experienced by Muthama and his colleagues. Theirs is definitely a case of sour grapes, in that what they expected (Kalonzo’s political support for their man Ruto), they know they cannot get!
Perhaps nothing shocked Muthama and his group more than the hostile reception they got during the burial of Samuel Mutuku Mulu, the son of the late Ukambani kingpin Mulu Mutisya in the presence of Kalonzo at Yathui, Mwala in Machakos, where Muthama was booed, heckled and forced to cut short his speech when he tried to vouch for Ruto’s candidature. He has been smarting from the humiliation ever since.
Muthama is full of bitterness and resentment, on realizing, rather too late, that he has little political value to offer anyone who had hoped to use him to win popular support particularly in Ukambani. The garrulous former Senator has a good reason to panic: he now realizes that Ukambani is solidly behind Kalonzo, implying that his (Muthama’s goose has already been cooked and is now ready to be served — hot!
Kenyans will have noticed that, every election year since 2007 generates a gang of political wannabes, from Ukambani in particular, who latch onto Kalonzo’s name in a desperate attempt to gain political relevance and mileage. For them, besmirching the Wiper Leader while hoping the act will win them the support of the voters or their political benefactors from outside Ukambani region, becomes the end game.
Yet, at every attempt time, these desperate detractors are heartbroken by the frequency of their failures to gain anything from badmouthing Kalonzo, who is not only a highly respected national and international leader but also an astute politician with a solid backing in his political backyard. The desperate maneuvers that started in 2007 when Kalonzo first ran for President, appear to have now found a new suitor in Muthama, two years early into the 2022 General Election.
Muthama and his ilk had better be advised to look at the trail of wounded politicians who have tried to wrestle with Kalonzo in his political backyard. Some of them (I will not mention here to preserve the little dignity they still have) appear to have completely lost interest in politics, while others are looking for ways to mend fences with Kalonzo.
Despite having these facts in mind, Muthama has obstinately decided that he must learn the hard way — an extremely unwise decision to take. At the very best, he will end up cooling his heels at the Opposition benches after the 2022 General Election, which would be stretching his optimism too far, anyway, because he is now headed for political oblivion.
In conclusion, I reiterate that H.E Kalonzo’s backyard is tightly locked for him in 2022. Any other political competitor who still believes he has the ability to penetrate it had better brace for a very unpleasant surprise.
Forget about the unreliable promises by political brokers: Mambo kwa ground ni different!
Tukutane kwa debe 2022!
ONESMUS KILONZO, HEAD OF COMMUNICATION – WDM-K.