A rebellion is brewing in Moses Wetangula’s Kabuchai backyard after area Member of Parliament Majimbo Kalasinga warmed up to Deputy President William Ruto on Saturday.
Kalasinga was among a number of lawmakers from the Western Kenya region who accompanied the DP during his meet-the-people tour in Chwele Market.
The Ford Kenya MP pledged support for Deputy President William Ruto’s 2022 presidential ambitions.
“Our beloved DP Ruto let me tell you that you and Bungoma are one thing and we are ready to work with you in your quest to empower the hustlers of this country,” Kalasinga said.
He is a known-ally of Ford Kenya party boss, Wetangula. The Bungoma Senator is one of the principals in the One Kenya Alliance (OKA) that seeks to form the next government after the 2022 General Elections.
Kalasinga was elected into office in a by-election held in March this year.
He garnered 19,274 votes which represented 65 per cent of the total votes cast. His main challenger was Evans Kakai of the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) — a party associated with Ruto — who got 6,455 votes which represented 22 per cent of the votes cast.
Ruto has severally said that UDA is his preferred vehicle in his 2022 State House bid.
“When you see Majimbo Kalasinga and Evans Kakai here, just know Kabuchai is closed. We will support you,” said Kalasinga.
Kalasinga was accompanied by five Jubilee MPs: Dan Wanyama (Webuye West), John Waluke (Sirisia), Didmus Barasa (Kimilili), Fred Kapondi (Mt Elgon) and Mwambu Mabonga (Bumula).
The declaration sparked a political realignment debate in the region ahead of the 2022 polls.
But reacting to the declaration, the Ford Kenya leadership distanced itself from the remarks dismissing them as personal views.
The leadership urged supporters to ignore Kalasinga.
“It is regretful because as a party, we have not sat down and decided to support the Deputy President. Kalasinga is my friend but I am disappointed in him,” said Ford kenya’s National organising secretary Chris Mandu Mandu.
“We have our presidential candidate who Wetang’ula. And we have many leaders we support among them Musalia Mudavadi but as a party, we have never discussed the Deputy President.”
Wetangula’s personal aide Wafula Wakoli also dismissed Kalasinga’s claims maintaining that Ford Kenya was not working with UDA.
“Ford Kenya party has mechanism and structures to do things and the sentiments by Majimbo that he had been sent by our party leader Moses Wetang’ula to tell Deputy President William Ruto that as a party we are supporting his hustler narrative is total lies,” Wakoli said.
“We want to say that those sentiments by Majimbo were his own and not those of the party,” he said.
Ford Kenya has been facing internal wrangles since June last year when a faction led by Members of Parliament Wafula Wamunyinyi (Kanduyi) and Eseli Simiyu (Tongaren) attempted to oust Wetangula as party leader.
The latest might be an extension of the leadership wrangles that threaten the party’s influence in the region.