Kalonzo Musyoka talked to the press at length recently about the “huge mistake” Charity Ngilu has made in joining ODM instead of sticking with the strongest party in Ukambani, namely his very own Hoo Ndii Emm.
At one point Mr Musyoka said; “I can almost guarantee her that she will lose her parliamentary seat.”
It is indeed true that Kalonzo Musyoka’s ODM Kenya (Hoo Ndii Emm, we call it in this blog because that is the way my cousins back home in Ukambani pronounce it.) is very strong in Ukambani. Mr Musyoka has spent a lot of time campaigning within his stronghold to ensure that he is the tribal supremo. The folks in Ukambani do not want to hear about any other presidential candidate. PNU officials recently plastered the whole of Machakos town with president Kibaki posters. The activity was done secretly in the cover of darkness and town residents woke up in the morning to find a Kibaki blitz. Two short hours later, almost every poster had either been defaced or torn down.
Amazingly there is also a feeling amongst the Akamba people that Mr Musyoka has got a fighting chance of winning the presidency. Many of them are convinced that Raila Odinga will slip up somewhere along the way and then the only alternative will be their very own Kalonzo son of Musyoka. Is this wishful thinking at its’ extreme or is it just strong unwavering faith in a witchdoctor’s prophecy?
Whatever it may be, it is a shame if the people of Kitui Central can abandon their daughter at this eleventh hour in favor of their tribal instincts. Still Mrs Ngilu who was widowed earlier this year, has proved that she is a national leader and my view is that she should think of relocating to a Nairobi city parliamentary constituency, where the ODM wave should easily carry her through.
One thing you have to say about Ngilu is that she has always been extremely courageous (the very opposite of Kalonzo Musyoka) and is extremely likeable if the tears that flowed at Afya house as she packed and left ion Monday are anything to go by. Incidentally she promised the staff that she would be back very soon. Whatever happens, chances are extremely high that Mrs Ngilu will see the inside of the 10th parliament even if it is as a nominated member of parliament. It is also almost a foregone conclusion that should ODM win the December polls, she will be re-appointed health minister, hence her confident remark that she would soon return. There is little doubt on any right thinking Kenyan’s mind that Mrs Ngilu has been the most successful Health minister in the history of the country.
However those who know Mrs Ngilu well are sure that rather than cow from the challenge of defending her Kitui Central seat, she will fight it out tooth and nail to retain it.
Incidentally the most memorable battle Ngilu has had for her parliamentary seat was in 1997 when she became the first woman in Kenya to offer her candidature for the highest office in the land. The Kanu strateists then decided to teach her a lesson by ensuring that she failed to recapture her parliamentary seat and invaded Kitui Central with every dirty trick in the book. Mrs Ngilu had no option but to abandon her presidential campaign in the last few days and camped in her constituency and that was the only way she managed to edge her way back into parliament. Interestingly one man called Stanley “money bags” Livondo seems to have a similar mission to ensure that ODM presidential candidate has a very difficult time retaining his Langata parliamentary seat this time round. However his strategy of achieving this seems to be to cause a lot of violence in the city constituency.