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Malombe told to leave Wiper ahead of primaries

Malombe told to leave Wiper ahead of primaries
Kitui governor’s wife Edith Malombe (Left) is welcomed by Mwingi North MP John Munuve at Ciampiu market during a harambee for Tharaka Girls Secondary school on Saturday (November 19, 2016). She drummed support for Dr Julius Malombe’s re-election bid even as other leaders urged the county boss to leave the party.  PHOTO | MWINGI TIMES

  A section of leaders in Mwingi North on Saturday intensified calls for Kitui Governor Julius Malombe to ditch Wiper Democratic Movement ahead of the party Primaries set for early next year.  

  The leaders who joined the governor’s wife Edith Malombe during a fund raiser for Tharaka Girls Secondary school at Ciampiu market in Mumoni, Mwingi North Constituency harshly criticized the party claiming that there were indications that it would not conduct free and fair party primaries ahead of the 2017 general elections.

  They said the party had preferred candidates for the 2017 polls and thus it would bar other candidates from contesting on the party ticket. They included the area MP John Munuve and Tharaka ward MCA Samuel Ikunga.  Others were former civic leaders Mr. Philip Kithinji and Mr. Titus Kitheka and ward development committee chairman Mr. Isaac Njeru. 

  They said there were clear signals that unscrupulous ways will be used at the party nominations to deny Mr. Malombe ticket to seek reelection. 

  Sanator David Musila who is also the party’s national chairman has declared interest to unseat Dr. Malombe and during his meet-the- people campaign tours across the county maintained that he would not relinquish his powerful party position even after some of the party members led by Dr Malombe demanded that he vacate the post to allow a level competing ground.


  Local political pundits have argued that Mr. Musila’s stance is likely to crumble the party led by former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka, since its supporters in his home turf have been split into two rival camps.

  The duo, both close allies of Mr. Musyoka, have been spearheading a heated campaign against each other publicly with rumors emerging that Mr Malombe is set to leave the party for Makueni governor Kivutha Kibwana’s Muungano party.

  The governor’s spouse, who robustly drummed support for her husband re-election said Kitui electorate will vote him back regardless of the party that he would contest on.

“Kitui people are very wise, am certain they will elect their leaders based on the development track record. I know the governor has performed and you will bring him back so that he can continue serving you for the next five years,” Mrs. Malombe said.


 “As your MP has told you a party will never bring development to you, what matters is the kind of a leader who you will give the mandate to serve you, “she said.

  Mr. Munuve told the county boss to be wary of the Wiper party. He said the county chief risked being kicked out of the party next year "if he won’t divorce it early".  ” I read the early signs that all won’t be well and left the party for Jubilee. The governor should be cautious with his stay in the Wiper party. He should take a bold political move because he might be kicked out,” Mr. Munuve said.  

  Mr. Ikunga threatened to dump the party which he rode on for election in 2013 if it would not assure the aspirants of free and fair nominations.  “There are people who have been going around threatening some of us (MCAs) that they will never give us the ticket because we are not in their camp. I want to clearly tell them that we don’t need their party. We will leave the party and seek re-election on other outfits,” said the MCA who is an ardent supporter of governor Malombe. He said the minority Tharaka community would unanimously back Mr. Malombe’s re-election bid owing to his “unmatched development record” in the once marginalized area.

  But Mwingi North constituency Wiper chairman John Makau dismissed the leaders saying the party had no preferred candidate for any political seat. “When people sense defeat they have to look for scapegoat. What is happening with the governor is a clear indication that he was preparing to exit the party because you have heard what one of his kitchen cabinet (his wife) has said,” said Mr. Makau.                                                                                                                                 
   Mr. Makau, also a Wiper parliamentary aspirant in the area, termed their sentiments as “unfortunate”. “For these leaders to start casting aspersions simply because there is a party leader contesting for Kitui gubernatorial post is the most unfortunate thing and that is sending wrong signals to the people of Kitui County,” he said.

  The party official dared Dr. Malombe to come out clearly on whether he had ditched the party. He said the governor should be a man enough to tell the electorate the party he would use to seek his second term.

  “He should believe in this party because were it not for Wiper, he would not be a governor. Let him not cheat himself that he would be re-elected on another party,” said Mr. Makau.

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