Chaos mars Kalonzo Musyoka rally in Kitui


Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka on Thursday January 27 embarked on a series of rallies amid fights among party lawmakers.

Crowd disturbance marred the first rally at Kitui stadium as supporters of Senator Enoch Wambua and Mwingi Central MP Gideon Mulyungi fought.

Mr Musyoka was accompanied by Kanu leader and Baringo Senator Gideon Moi, businessman Jimi Wanjigi and former Lugari MP Cyrus Jirongo.

They sought to assure locals that Mr Musyoka’s second stab at the presidency has not collapsed despite the One Kenya Alliance (OKA) losing two of its principals – Mr Musalia Mudavadi of Amani National Congress and Ford Kenya’s Moses Wetang’ula.

The two OKA principals joined forces with Deputy President William Ruto’s United Democratic Alliance last week.  Several people were arrested on suspicion of being hired to cause mayhem at Mr Musyoka’s rally yesterday.

The troublemakers blew dust into the crowd when some leaders rose to speak.

Trouble started moments after Mr Musyoka and his guests arrived to find the stadium half empty as locals who anticipated the commotion chose to remain outside.

In vain did Kitui Central MP Makali Mulu, who was the host and MC, plead with the crowd to join the leaders inside the stadium.

Mr Mulu said the fights paint a bad picture of Mr Musyoka.

“I humbly urge our young people not to be used to spoil our meeting. We are in Kitui county, the home of our party leader,” the Kitui Central lawmaker said in vernacular as heckling intensified.

“It is important for supporters of all leaders to have decorum.”

Mr Mulyungi cut his speech short when rival gangs began fighting, causing a stampede.

Police officers arrived and arrested those fighting.

Mr Musyoka then took over the programme and invited his guests to speak.

Senator Moi and Mr Jirongo said the rally was a test of Mr Musyoka’s popularity and would  inform their decision to back him in the August presidential contest.

“We have come to see if you are behind your son Kalonzo Musyoka,” Mr Jirongo said.

Mr Wanjigi said he is considering shelving his presidential ambitions in favour of Mr Musyoka.

The embarrassing scenes dominated subsequent speeches.

Mwingi West MP Charles Nguna urged residents of Kitui, Makueni and Machakos to rally behind Mr Musyoka.

Mr Wambua said the chaos was an embarrassment to Mr Musyoka “especially if it is covered and reported by mainstream media”.

Mr Musyoka said he would not sacrifice his presidential ambitions in favour of others.

“We are in this race to the end. We are determined to win the presidential contest and offer better leadership,” he told the crowd.

The Wiper Party leader added that he is prepared for a bruising battle for the presidency, including convincing the OKA team to rally behind him.

He told Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu “not to take the community to the opposition”.

Mrs Ngilu on Wednesday said Mr Musyoka would not win the presidency and that his candidacy would only benefit a few Wiper leaders “hanging on his coat tails to secure elective seats”.     BY DAILY NATION   

No comments