Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka and Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu are likely to forge a strategic working relationship ahead of the polls.
The two, who have for years been known for their love-hate political relationship, appear to be closing ranks to secure the Ukambani bloc in a united front.
As the 2017 election beckoned, the two, despite belonging to different political parties came together and Ngilu used Kalonzo’s popularity to clinch the Kitui governorship. However, shortly afterwards, the friendship evaporated.
The two politicians have not been seeing eye to eye in recent years, with Ngilu joining hands with governors Alfred Mutua of Machakos and Kivutha Kibwana of Makueni in what was seen as an effort to frustrate Kalonzo’s bid for the presidency.
However, Ngilu appears to have had a change of mind.
Last Friday, Ngilu held a press conference in her boardroom in Kitui town during which she called for respect for Kalonzo and warned Deputy President William Ruto against insulting the Ukambani kingpin.
Ngilu censured Ruto for allegedly insulting and using vulgar language against Kalonzo during his tour of Ukambani last Thursday.
She cautioned that Ukambani leaders will not stomach Ruto’s demeaning language against Kalonzo during his future visits.
Three days later, on Monday, Ngilu was at a Kamba vernacular radio station, Musyi FM. She heaped praise on Kalonzo for being a faithful and astute leader.
The governor, however, said that Kalonzo’s political handlers and buddies had been his undoing and are responsible for his failed attempt at the presidency.
“We should fight for Kalonzo to be president. That is what we have always insisted. I ask our people to show empathy and love to avoid a repeat of what befell him.
“In 2013 we won elections as MPs, woman reps and governors but Kalonzo was in the cold and out of government,” Ngilu said.
During the talk show hosted by Onesmus Mwengei, Ngilu stressed the need for Ukambani leaders and the community to rally behind Kalonzo’s presidential quest.
She, however, suggested that Kalonzo had the option to join Raila Odinga’s Azimio La Umoja for a stronger coalition.
The governor disclosed that she will be part of Kalonzo’s entourage during his Ukambani tour later this week.
Later on Monday, while speaking in Mwingi, Kalonzo ruled out the possibility of joining Raila’s Azimio saying such was too much hullabaloo about nothing.
He however concurred that it was important for Ukambani people to speak in one accord.
“Kitui governor should speak in the same accord with Kalonzo. One voice from the people of Kitui,” Kalonzo who hails from Kitui said.
He said he will make a three-day presidential campaign tour of Ukambani from Thursday for the Kamba community to send an overt political statement.