Mr. Kelvin Muasya Kalonzo and his father Wiper Leader Kalonzo Musyoka after meeting Ambassador Kiema Kilonzo in Uganda to negotiate for his nomination as running mate if Kiema gets Wipers ticket to run for Kitui Governor in 2022.
Barely two months after Wiper Leader Kalonzo Musyoka inked post-election Coalition deal with the ruling Jubilee Party in mid-June, State has rewarded him by appointing his younger son Kelvin Muasya Kalonzo to the Board of Tourism Regulatory Authority. Mr. Kalonzo runs the Former VP’s family media business (Athiani FM).
The appointment of Kalonzo’s second-born son to the tourism watchdog Board was announced on Friday by Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala vide Kenya Gazette Notice. Kalonzo son is the first beneficiary of the recent Coalition between Jubilee and Wiper which is yet to yield any tangible benefit to the rest of Kamba Community.
The move by Kalonzo to use the Jubilee-Wiper Coalition to lobby for his son’s appointment has attracted wide criticism with many Kamba Leaders terming it as betrayal of their community. Most of Wiper Members interviewed on condition of anonymity said Kalonzo Musyoka was using the Wiper Party as a family business.
“If the Jubilee-Wiper Coalition was to help Kamba Community which has been in political cold since 2013, why would Kalonzo forward the name of his some for appointment when there many other overqualified Kamba community youth who are jobless?” wondered Charles Mathuva Mwalimu (popularly known by his initials MCM) who has declared interest in Mwingi North MP in 2022.
Kelvin Musyoka is the second son of the Wiper Leader to get a plum position courtesy of his father’s position after Wiper nominated his elder brother Kennedy Musyoka to replace Wiper Secretary General Peter Mathuki as the Party’s East Africa Legislative Assembly (EALA) MP.
“As Kamba Community, we must wake up. We can’t continue to put all our eggs in the Wiper Basket. It is now clear that Kalonzo only cares about his family. First, he nominated his son Kennedy as MP and now has picked his other son Kelvin for another state appointment. Is Wiper a Community party or a family business?” asked Nairobi-based politician Paul Musyimi.
Former Machakos Senator Johnstone Muthama expressed similar sentiments in 2017 and accused Musyoka of picking his son Kennedy Musyoka for at the expense of more deserving party members, including himself, who have worked tirelessly for the party. Kalonzo justified his son’s was EALA nomination saying he was most qualified.
The attracted the criticism of many Kenyans on Twitter (KOT) who accused the Wiper Party of favouritism, arguing that there are many young people who should have been given the chance. One netizen by name Elly Kabu wondered: “Is Kalonzo telling the country that in the whole of Ukambani region its only his son who is qualified?”
This time round, it is not clear how Kalonzo and Wiper will justify his second son’s appointment to Kambas and Kenyans following hot in the heels of the controversial nomination of Kennedy Musyoka to EALA. That it came after Jubilee-Wiper Coalition and not before makes it impossible for Kalonzo to argue he had nothing to do with it.
The appointment of Kelvin Muasya Kalonzo to a State Board has been interpreted by many pundits as an attempt by the Wiper Leader to prepare him for a bigger political office in 2022. The younger Kalonzo has confirmed he is interested in being nominated as the Deputy Governor of the Wiper Candidate for Kitui Governorship in 2022.
Last year, after holding a closed door meeting with his father and Kenya’s High Commissioner to Uganda Kiema Kilonzo, the young Mr. Kalonzo told the Star that if the ongoing negotiations are concluded successfully, then he will be nominated as Mr. Kilonzo’s 2022 running mate for Kitui Governor flying the Wiper Party.
“I have been fingered among many other persons whom Kiema Kilonzo wants to be his running mate in the coming elections. If the ongoing negotiations are concluded with me being nominated Kilonzo’s 2022 running mate, then a formal public announcement would be made.” Mr. Kalonzo clarified on phone.
Kalonzo’s two sons are not the only relatives who have benefited from Wiper appointments. His wife’s sister Jane Muasya (incidentally Kelvin is named after her father) has been twice nominated by Wiper Party as an MCA in the Nairobi County Assembly.
Many members of the Kamba community the author spoke wondered how many more relatives of Kalonzo have to enjoy his nepotism before other deserving cases can benefit. In 2022, it may be very difficult to convince members of Kamba Community to vote Wiper as doing so appears to benefit to Kalonzo, his family and his close friends.