Muthama skips Wiper NEC as the party plays down tiff with Kalonzo

Kalonzo gave se­na­tor a pub­lic dressing-down at Sul­tan Ha­mud and ac­cused him of caus­ing political di­vi­sions

The Star (Kenya) - - News - OLIVER MATHENGE @Oliv­erMa­thenge

Machakos Se­na­tor Johnson Muthama yes­ter­day skipped a Wiper meet­ing where it was an­nounced that Kalonzo Musyoka will be en­dorsed as its pres­i­den­tial can­di­date on De­cem­ber 10.

The party made the an­nounce­ment af­ter a National Ex­ec­u­tive Com­mit­tee meet­ing, where mem­bers down­played a tiff be­tween Kalonzo and Muthama.

“There is no fall­out within the party or be­tween any of our lead­ers or mem­bers. What you say is a cri­sis has been man­u­fac­tured, even prob­a­bly by Ju­bilee, by blow­ing things out of pro­por­tion,” Mom­basa Se­na­tor Has­san Omar said. He is the Wiper party’s sec­re­tary gen­eral.

Omar went on to blame the me­dia for cre­at­ing a storm in a teacup and avoided talk on Muthama’s ab­sence. “He is ad­dress­ing an­other presser ... We re­alised the move­ment at the Wiper and Cord lev­els must move froward,” he said. Kalonzo gave Muthama a pub­lic dressing-down at the week­end at Sul­tan Ha­mud, ac­cus­ing him of caus­ing political di­vi­sions in the re­gion. Kalonzo said Muthama was work­ing se­cretly to deny him the Cord pres­i­den­tial ticket in favour of ODM leader Raila Odinga.

Muthama skipped the NEC meet­ing held mid-morn­ing and chose to ad­dress a Cord press con­fer­ence along­side Si­aya Se­na­tor James Orengo. He said the Cord press con­fer­ence was more im­por­tant than Wiper’s meet­ing.

“I was not at the Wiper meet­ing be­cause what is hap­pen­ing here is more im­por­tant than what they are dis­cussing there,” the se­na­tor told jour­nal­ists at Capi­tol Hill. He was with Ford Kenya’s Eseli Simiyu.

Muthama and Orengo had called the press con­fer­ence to give Cord’s po­si­tion on the IEBC and its prepa­ra­tions for next year’s elec­tions.

The Wiper leader has in­sisted he should be the Cord flag­bearer in 2017 af­ter play­ing sec­ond fid­dle to Raila in 2013, as his run­ning-mate.

Even as Omar in­sisted that all is well be­tween Kalonzo and Muthama, un­con­firmed re­ports in­di­cate that the Machakos se­na­tor may be headed to ODM.

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