Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua has asked Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka to support his 2022 presidential ambition following his alleged proposal for the presidential term limit to be removed.
Mr Musyoka says he was misquoted by the media but Dr Mutua on Sunday said the proposal indicated that his rival had shelved his presidential bid.
"His proposal to remove the presidential term limit and extend that of President Kenyatta is a confirmation that he is no longer in the presidential race," he told journalists at Mombasa County's Pride Inn Hotel.
"For that reason and because I am the only leader from the Eastern region who has declared that he wants to run for the presidency, I request him to support my bid."
In October 2018, Mr Kalonzo said the handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Orange Democratic Movement leader Raila Odinga had not affected his State House ambition.
Dr Mutua noted, however, that he was not supportive of the Wiper party leader's proposal as that would mean "taking the country back to the dark days of dictatorship".
It is important to acknowledge the young generation that has been denied leadership for years as the old guard cling to power, he said.
"The young generation need to be to inspired. People who push for the removal of presidential limits have a problem passing the baton to others because they want to cling to power forever," said Mr Kalonzo, who spoke flanked by Deputy Governor Francis Malit. "Kenyans need politics that is forward-looking,"
In line with this, the governor said Mr Musyoka's lack of a political stand on what he has said, over the years, has given the public reason not to choose him for the top seat.
"A leader should be a person who takes a position and sticks to it. I am surprised when people say they want to be President and then become so wishy-washy'. How can you trust somebody who keeps on changing his position about being your Commander in Chief? You cannot."
Concerning referendum calls, Dr Mutua said his Maendeleo Chap Chap party leader wants it realised.
In the next three weeks, he said, they will present their proposals on the formation of a three-tier government and forward them to the relevant organs.
"Leaders who started the referendum conversation and I will forward our take on the constitutional change to the Building Bridges Initiative committee," he said.
Dr Mutua's address came a day after he snubbed Mr Musyoka's meeting in Tala, Matungulu Constituency.
Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana and his Kitui counterpart Charity Ngilu were also absent but Mr Musyoka said that Prof Kibwana told him that he was in South Korea, Mrs Ngilu feared beeing booed and that Dr Mutua was unavailable by phone.
The Wiper leader, who is leading a convention of Wiper leaders dubbed Koma Rock II, has been facing rebellion from the three Ukambani governors led by Prof Kibwana.
Mr Musyoka said he was looking forward to having the three county chiefs in Koma Rock II.
Dr Mutua said they do not have a problem with Mr Musyoka but with "politics of poverty".
"Our unity (the three governors) is to see that we work together with all leaders including him. What we are against is the leadership that sees our people remain poor," he said.