The National Super Alliance (Nasa) co-principal and Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka was on Saturday booed by angry mourners in Kitui County who protested the manner in which his party conducted the recent nominations.
The fall outs in Ukambani arising from the Wiper party primaries dominated speeches during the burial of Kitui Senator David Musila’s mother in Migwani with most leaders blaming Mr Musyoka for imposing ‘unpopular’ candidates on the people.
The leaders said people were discontented with the outcome of Wiper primaries but assured Mr Musyoka that they will ensure maximum voter turnout for the Opposition coalition in the August 8 elections.
Mr Musyoka, who was the last to speak after all his party MPs and senators, denied there was an alleged political scheme to rig out Mr Musila only to be booed when he defended his party’s nominee Governor Julius Malombe who was not present at the burial ceremony.
Mr Musila, who lost the party’s gubernatorial ticket, resigned as Wiper national chairman to contest the seat as an independent candidate.
The Wiper leader’s mention of Dr Malombe, the Wiper governor nominee, and assertion that he did not manipulate the party primaries in favour of the governor seemed to have not gone well with the mourners who started booing.
He said he had come along way with Mr Musila and would not mind him being Kitui governor had he won in August.
The Wiper leader added that people were free to elect their preferred candidates.
“I never got involved in how our party chose candidates and it doesn’t matter which political party Senator Musila is in, we’ll remain friends and I’m ready to work with him again” Kalonzo said.
Mr Musyoka explained that political parties in Kenya were ill equipped to conduct credible nominations and that the internal problems in Wiper were manifested across the political spectrum.
“I have neither accepted nor acknowledged Senator Musila’s resignation as our party chairman because I want him back,” the former Vice President said.
Earlier, leaders told the Wiper leader to let the people choose leaders regardless of their political party affiliation.
Machakos Senator Johnstone Muthama demanded that Dr Malombe be disqualified from defending his seat on Wiper ticket as per the recommendation of the party’s National Elections Board over his alleged involvement in massive irregularities during the primaries.
He said he chose to drop out of the Machakos senate race in solidarity with Mr Musila after it was apparent that the Kitui Senator had been ‘rigged out’ and denied the ticket.
“We acknowledge and respect you as our leader and no one is competing for national attention with you but I’ll not campaign for any candidate who obtained the Wiper ticket through fraudulent means” Mr Muthama told Mr Musyoka on Saturday.
He advised Mr Musyoka not to campaign for Wiper candidates but should concentrate on national politics to allow the people express their wish at the ballot on August 8.
“We’ll rally to the last man behind Nasa presidential ticket Raila Odinga and our son but we’ll ensure Mr Musila is elected Kitui Governor,” he said.
Mr Muthama sentiments were echoed by Kitui Woman Representative Ms Nyiva Mwendwa, Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Junior and MPs Francis Nyenze
(Kitui west), Mutua Muluvi (Kitui east), Joe Mutambu (Mwingi Central) , Makali Mulu (Kitui Central) and Bernard Kitungi (Mwingi West).
Ms Mwendwa, a key ally of Mr Musyoka, said she was embarrassed by the turn of events in the party and will stand with Mr Musila.
Senator Mutula said the Wiper party leadership must own up and apologise to its supporters for the shambolic nominations.
The Senator said his two colleagues Mr Muthama and Mr Musila, who have broken ranks with the party, had legitimate grievances and should be apologised to before seeking reconciliation.
Former cabinet secretary Charity Ngilu said she was ready to work with Senator Musila to send the incumbent Kitui governor home.
Mrs Ngilu said the home dynamics will not affect the Kamba community’s resolve to support Nasa leadership adding Jubilee should be voted out for mismanaging the country.