Is Kalonzo about to lose the vice presidency?
The leadership qualities of one Kalonzo Musyoka were clearly visible for all to see this last Saturday in Ukambani. If you are still of the old school and believe that a strong leader is one who hires people to jeer and intimidate an opponent and perceived threat to yourself at the funeral of her mother, then Kalonzo is quite a brilliant leader.
Actually what we are now seeing are just the initial signs of a vicious power struggle that is beginning to unfold in Kenya between the old school politicians and the new emerging generation of political leaders.
But let me start at the beginning.
On Saturday the political action in Ukambani was at the funeral of the late mother of the MP for Kathiani, Wavinya Ndeti. Before I go any further, let me tell; you a little about this gallant woman (who also happens to be a drop dead beauty “supu” at the age of 39.) I will post an appropriate photograph the moment I get it).
Wavinya managed to beat a very strong field of men to make history as the first woman to win a parliamentary seat in the history of Machakos district. That field of opponents was led by the immediate former MP Kyalo Kaindi who poured money like there was no tomorrow. Just to illustrate to you how things are changing in Kenya; money usually works miracles in Kathiani constituency. But this time, the people took the money and voted differently. All signs are that in Wavinya we are witnessing the emergence of another Charity Ngilu (just remember that you read it first in Kumekucha long before it came to pass). Incidentally Wavinya is a Kamba word that means “the one of power” or “the strong one.”
So back to my story. Hon Wavinya Ndeti was in mourning for her dear beloved late mother and deserved a quiet funeral to bury the woman who brought her to this world. But there was no way that VP Kalonzo Musyoka would allow that to happen. Busloads of people were hired mainly from the Kibwezi area and they arrived at the funeral having been carefully briefed on what to do. Before the graveside service was even done, the onslaught began. It was all kicked off by one of the main financiers of Kalonzo’s presidential campaign, Johnstone Muthama who invited the councilors who were present to “greet” the people. What happened next was that speaker after speaker castigated the likes of poor Wavinya for daring to criticize “the king of Ukambani” and the alleged president in waiting who will easily be elected in 2012 (some pipe dream). Meanwhile the hired jeering mob started making a lot of noise in support of what was being said against Wavinya. Imagine gown men all coming to attack a defenseless woman in mourning.
The whole idea was to scare the rebel MPs back into line. Kalonzo probably figured that he would be able to successfully scare “this young girl.” The very opposite seems to have happened. Wavinya emerged from her baptism of fire to hit back at the Kalonzo supporters and appeared to have gotten substantial support from the neutral mourners.
But the real drama followed later when Kalembe Ndile spoke to the mourners and appealed for calm (after the hired hands had mostly left).
Kalembe told a section of the crowd something that probably explains the unbecoming behavior of the “duly appointed” Vice President of the republic of Kenya. He told a very attentive audience that James Orengo (one of the two men together with AG Amos Wako who drafted last Thursday’s historic agreement) had explained to him the implications of the 50/50 agreement. Kalembe says that he was told that it means that everything has to be shared 50/50. Meaning that if the president is from PNU, then the VP has to be from ODM apparently the agreement even stretches to the appointments of ambassadors and High commissioners. Meaning that if the Ambassador to the US is PNU then the High commissioner to the UK will have to be ODM and so forth.
What this means is that VP Kalonzo (or Kaloozer as some readers here love to call him) is set to join the ranks of Kenya’s short-serving VPs. In other words the man who hires goons to disrupt funerals is about to lose the Vice Presidency. His strategy seems to be to ensure that the whole of Ukambani is firmly behind him so as to make it more difficult for him to be dropped. I leave it to you to judge the wisdom of such a move. But I can tell you that these are old ancient tactics learned from the late Mulu Mutisya a man who never saw the inside of a classroom in his life and yet Kalonzo was a devoted student to the man. I can also authoritatively tell you that Kalonzo does NOT have the support of the whole of Ukambani. Actually the community has been split right down the middle and those against him are probably more than those who are for him.
Fellow Kenyans, what we are seeing is the beginning of a power struggle that will be vicious. Not between the big boys Raila and Kibaki (theirs will pale in comparison) but between politicians from the old school and the impatient new rookies who have come in with clear instructions from the people who elected them. And that is they want change and are sick and extremely tired of the old ways.