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Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Who will fit into Mutula's shoes?

Battle for
Makueni seat
Diana Kethi Kilonzo
By Martin Masai

POLITICAL big wigs in CORD have managed to take the biggest gamble by pushing Kethi Kilonzo to attempt to step into her late father’s shoes and succeed him as Makueni Senator.

By doing so, they know that it is for politics and not their love for Mutula Kilonzo that they have sucked in Kethi into politics- a fabled dirty game.
The choice of Kethi is informed by the fact that no one else can win the seat, yet the coalition is so desperate to reclaim it to show that it is still relevant in politics after losing the Presidential race in the March 2013 elections.
Observers in Makueni believe that Kethi has the magic wand that is necessary to keep the Wiper flag flying, even when they know very little or nothing about her.
To the politicians, Kethi is a green horn that they are dragging into the stage for the good of their politics. To the larger public, Kethi has the prospects of being as brilliant as her father arising from her performance in the Petition where she  represented  Africog in seeking to undo the victory declared for Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto respectively as President and Deputy.
Beyond that, Who is Kethi Kilonzo?
She is a daughter of Kilonzo from his first failed marriage. By a twist of fate, she will overtake her better known  elder brother Mutula Kilonzo Jr. who shadowed his father in his politics. She grew up in Nairobi with hardly any contacts in Mbooni, let alone Makueni.
An associate of Mutula for a long time who did not want to be named says she rarely went home when she was growing due to the frosty relationship between their parents. He says her first appearance in public in Mbooni was when their father was being buried and that residents came to hear of her during the case. “ Much as Makueni people want to vote in Kethi, they are dying for a person they do not know. In fact, she will only be cashing in on the votes of a dead man- not her self-yet she is the one they want”, said the associate, who has worked with Mutula when he was a Kanu functionary, ODM-K leader, Mbooni MP and Cabinet Minister.
He says the candidature of Kethi will not be a walk in the park. “ Let her not think that she will be elected without a fight. She now needs to erect her own networks because she does not know those of her late father. She now needs to traverse through Makueni and aggregate her agenda for the county as she introduces herself to  voters”, adding that he expected that she will find resistance in the campaign.
“Her opponents are based in Makueni. They are known people who have been tested and know how to run on their own.” Said the associate in reference to John Harun Mwau and Professor Philip Kaloki . Prof.Kaloki has a five year experience as the Kibwezi MP and also traversed the county in the company of the late Mutula during the campaigns.
Mwau is believed to be in the race under his Pick party while Kaloki will be the Narc Candidate as confirmed by Party Leader Kiema Kilonzo.
A former Personal Assistant of Mutula Kilonzo for 15 years Mr Peter Mwanthi told The Anchor that the candidature of Kethi will be ill advised because, in his view, Mutula’s enemies want to tear his family into smithereens by hauling Kethi into politics.
He said he had been in active politics with Mutula and had never seen Kethi in a single  political meeting and added that people claiming to have been Mutula’s friends should never betray a friend by tossing his children to politics when he dies.
Said Mwanthi : “ My take is that politics is not her cup of tea. I will also not support the destruction of the family and fortunes of a man I served for 15 years. They want his money and to ensure that it is spend in politics.”
He added “ They are all shouting Kethi’s name allover yet she is a city girl who may not even know their neighbours in Mbooni let alone  he father’s relatives. Let her run but she will live to regret the day she plunges into politics”.
Mwanthi says the people of Makueni need to be left alone to choose who will succeed Mutula from between those who are known genuine leaders of Makueni.
Even then, the tide sweeping Makueni for Kethi is so dumbfounding that one wonders what it is that people like in a person for whom they vote.
For now,  it does not matter where Kethi lives or who she is. It does not matter if she has an agenda for Makueni or not. All that matters is that it is Kethi Kilonzo.
Kethi confirmed  she will run in the July 22 by election.“Its true I will be offering myself to the people of Makueni County foe election”, Kethi told a reporter known to be close to the family for years.
This ends speculations as to whether she will contest or not after keeping supporters guessing with confusing signals for weeks.
This therefore sets the stage for a battle between the ruling Jubilee and the CORD alliance whose affiliate party Wiper is the home party.
Both alliances have a borne to pick with each. CORD widely believes it won the presidential vote and was robbed of victory by Jubilee.
The message to the Makueni voters is therefore clear on this and the CORD leaders will be asking their supporters to reject Jubilee.
Besides riding on the massive good will from the residents over her sterling performance at the Supreme Court, Kethi will also banking on sympathy votes.
Wiper party leader and former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka also confirmed Kethi’s candidature and invited Makueni people to turn out in large numbers to receive her on Monday.
CORD plans to lead the charge by holding meetings for Kethi and it remains unknown who will handle the logistics.

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