Sibling rivalry within the Azimio One Kenya Alliance could soon escalate after Machakos gubernatorial candidate Nzioka Waita on Monday, June 13, told off Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka a strongly worded statement.
The former State House Chief of Staff referred to to the ex-vice president as Mutharaka, which translates to ‘man from Tharaka’ – in response to Kalonzo’s alleged dismissal of his governorship bid over his inability to speak in the local dialect.
Waita insinuated that he was more Kamba than the Azimio Chief Cabinet Minister nominee, and that Kalonzo was from Tharaka Nithi, which borders Kitui County.
Former State House Chief of Staff Nzioka Waita speaking at a past event.
“The levels of desperation in Wiper are now embarrassing. I thought they said this “boy who speaks poor Kikamba is a non starter?” A word of advice to the Mutharaka don’t start what you can’t finish. Waita is marching onwards to the ballot!” he noted.
The remarks by the Chama Cha Uzalendo party leader comes after a letter surfaced, indicating that he had stepped down from the Machakos County gubernatorial race in favour of Wavinya Ndeti.
“After a night-long consultation with my family and team, we have resolved to honour the persuasions of Kalonzo and Raila Odinga to postpone our candidature to a later date,” the fake letter read in part.
Nzioka’s attack is in reference to a statement by Kalonzo on April 17, sensationally claimed that he was from the Agikuyu community as the race to become Raila’s running mate heated up.
“The time has now come to stop telling the people of Mount Kenya region that Kalonzo is not a Kikuyu, I am. If anybody tells you otherwise or that I am not a mutharaka, therefore the two tribes must get to be president for this country to progress, please pray for them,” Kalonzo stated.
President Uhuru Kenyatta’s ex-aide and the former Vice President have had a go at each other with the political indifference between them playing out during Azimio flagbearer Odinga’s tour of the region.
Speaking in Machakos on June 12, the Wiper leader endorsed Wavinya for the top county job and asked Waita to pull out from the race. Supporters of the two gubernatorial hopefuls later engaged in shouting matches before the former Prime Minister.
This escalated into a physical brawl after a fight broke out at his VIP dais forcing Raila to cut short his speech.
Odinga was forced to weigh in, and without giving a conclusive directive, revealed that he would be holding discussions and that a deal would be struck between the two leaders.
Odinga has on several occassions downplayed sibling rivalry, which threatens to scuttle Azimio’s fortunes, especially in areas where partner parties enjoy sizeable support. The presidential candidate has also ruled out zoning, after protests from parties within the coalition.
Azimio presidential candidate Raila Odinga and leaders from the Ukambani Region during a rally in Athi River on Sunday, June 12, 2022.