The fallout between National Super Alliance (NASA) co-principal Kalonzo Musyoka and Machakos Senator Johnstone Muthama has taken an ugly turn with the latter threatening to spill “devastating” beans on the former vice president.
In the biggest pointer to the backroom intrigues surrounding the fallout, Muthama told Sunday Standard that he was dead-set on unravelling “very damaging issues” around his former buddy “at an appropriate time”. This comes only days after Muthama announced that he had quit the Wiper party and would be contesting the Senate seat as an independent candidate.
Based on the nature of the fallout and the undertones it has sparked, there is a feeling within political circles that the acrimony between the pair stretches beyond the party primaries debacles in Kitui, Makueni and Machakos.
Muthama did not affirm this theory nor deny it. Instead, he confirmed that there were “more things” he wanted to say about Kalonzo.
“I do not rush into things and you know that. I take my time, but when I do, I do not hold back. What I have and what I am promising to reveal is shocking... shocking information that will shake the whole country,” he said.
Asked whether the information revolves around the intrigues of the negotiations leading to Kalonzo agreeing to become a running mate of ODM leader Raila Odinga and parallel covert quest by Jubilee to sway him to their side, Muthama retorted: “That is coming from you.
For me, I have a story to tell Kenyans and I will do so at the opportune time. For now, I have a nation, a community, a name and credibility to protect. When that time comes and I open my mouth, the whole country will be shaken,” he said.
And in a pointer that the differences have been long running, Muthama said he had waited for many years to speak about the true character of Kalonzo. The senator said he would oppose the nomination of Kalonzo’s son Kennedy to the East Africa Legislative Assembly (EALA) because it was an unfair. “We cannot nominate the father as the Deputy President and proceed to nominate the son as an MP.
That position can go to another deserving Kenyan whose family is not anywhere near the top leadership of the country. That way we will bring on board others from their small corners into leadership,” he said. Muthama’s threats to “spill beans” on Kalonzo have not been taken lightly by Kalonzo’s allies.
“I have no idea what is informing all this but I will not be surprised if this issue gets nasty, personal and out of hand,” Makueni Senator and Wiper Vice Chairman Mutula Kilonzo Jnr said.
In 2007, Muthama is said to have played a decisive role in moving Kalonzo into working with former President Mwai Kibaki. In 2013, again, he played a key role in swaying Kalonzo towards Raila Odinga.
The people around Kalonzo now believe that on the two occasions, Muthama essentially “auctioned” Kalonzo off. One source very close to Kalonzo said they had no idea what Muthama was up to since “Kalonzo is a very open person.”
“It is nothing personal, nothing private about all this. As far as Kalonzo is concerned, there is no fallout between them. And unless he proposes to cook stuff, Kalonzo is not aware of anything that is destructive in his life. He has no beans to be spilled.”
The source said Kalonzo has neither private nor business interests with Muthama. They said Muthama should understand that the party could not take a chance on him in the Machakos Senate race when he announced he had quit the party.
“The broker-politics of yesteryear are no more and with it the ilk of Muthama. Our party leader has come of age and can negotiate his way around if it comes to that. The fact of the matter is that for a long time now, Muthama has never had Kalonzo’s interest at heart,” Enock Wambua, the Kitui senatorial aspirant told Sunday Standard.
A senior member of the Kamba professionals group that has been working with the Jubilee Government to deliver the region to the President’s party also said the fallout had something to do with “commitments” extracted to the effect that Kalonzo would ditch NASA for Jubilee.
In this process, as well as the process leading to Kalonzo agreeing to be Raila’s running mate, Muthama was side-stepped.
The source also linked closure of the Kalonzo Musyoka Foundation to a deal gone sour and predicted that more “punishment” for Kalonzo was in the offing: “What he has been served through closure of the accounts is just dessert. He is yet to be served the main dish.”
But Wambua said Kalonzo had demonstrated that he was independent by firmly resisting overtures from both Jubilee-leaning Wiper leaders and Raila-leaning ones like Muthama. He chose his own path which independently took him to Raila, to the chagrin of both groups.
“The truth which no one is telling you is that the exit of people like Muthama has strengthened Kalonzo and given confidence to the real supporters of the party. It is also the beginning of the end of a long tradition of an inward-looking approach to politics perfected by people like Muthama,” he said.
But Muthama would not budge when we spoke to him on his resolve to spoil for Kalonzo. “Verily, nobody will catch sleep in Kenya once I tell all this,” he said as he signed off the interview.
The two come a long way from the days when Kalonzo was a national Kanu official while Muthama was Machakos branch official.
Those who know them also say their differences stretch from politics to commerce. Muthama is said to have never forgiven Kalonzo over the circumstances under which he acquired Athiani FM, a vernacular radio station, long after he (Muthama) processed its licensing and did the bulk of its founding work.