The past week has seen the Wiper party mount pressure on the National Super Alliance (Nasa) to front Kalonzo Musyoka as the coalition’s presidential flag-bearer.
The bullishness displayed by the mainly Kamba community leaders, including an ultimatum and a threat to call it quits if Mr Musyoka is not granted the flag, is an offshoot of what transpired in Emali in Makueni earlier this week.
In that dusty town, about a third of leaders of the Kamba community met and took a solemn vow.
Dubbed the “Emali Declaration”, the leaders resolved to ensure Mr Musyoka flies the Nasa flag in the August General Election.
The declaration, as read by Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana, was as follows:
We the leaders and people of Kenya’s south Eastern region congregated at Emali town on March 28, 2017 do hereby declare the following:
1. We will now henceforth speak with one undivided force on social, economic and political issues affecting the community.
2. We, as a united leadership, recognising that the dignity of our community is interwoven with our destiny, we have resolved to be steadfast on our dignity’s full realisation.
3. In 2017, we will put our 2.5 million votes in one basket within the formidable Nasa formation, which promises transformation for Kenya. We know only Nasa will liberate Kenya from bad politics and dire underdevelopment.
4. Having resolved so, any insinuation to the contrary regarding our leader will be construed as an assault and ridicule to the community itself.
5. We the leaders of South Eastern region congregated here as well as our people have duly endorsed Dr Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka as the presidential flag-bearer under the Nasa coalition and ask the other Nasa principals and Kenyans to do the same.
6. We request the leaders presented here to engage professionals to prepare a regional economic blueprint for negotiations at national level.
After the declaration was made, all the leaders stood up, held and raised their hands in a show of unity and commitment to it.
Former Lands Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu, Machakos Senator David Musila, Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Jr, Kitui Governor Julius Malombe, Chama Cha Uzalendo Party Leader Wavinya Ndeti, Machakos Deputy Governor Bernard Kiala and People’s Trust Party Leader Mutua Katuku spoke at the event, all vowing to support Mr Musyoka.
Others at the meeting were Makueni Deputy Governor Adelina Mwau, Nairobi Deputy Governor Jonathan Mueke and several MPs.
Ms Ndeti revisited the 2013 memorandum of understanding that Orange Democratic Movement leader Raila Odinga was to be the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy flag-bearer and then pass the baton to Mr Musyoka this year.
“It is time the deal is honoured and Kalonzo flies the opposition flag,” she said.
And Mr Musyoka’s bid on Wednesday took a different turn, with National Assembly Minority Leader Francis Nyenze asking that the party leader be selected or they bolt from the coalition.
But Mr Musyoka has repeatedly made it clear that he will stick with Nasa to the bitter end regardless of who flies the flag.
“After today’s meeting, I now feel empowered to go to every corner of the country and talk to Kenyans,” said Mr Musyoka on Tuesday.