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Can Kibwana win presidency?

 Makueni governor Kivutha Kibwana has accepted Muungano Party’s endorsement to be its presidential flagbearer next year.

Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana speaks at Wote town where was endorsed by Muungano Party to run for presidency next year. Photo/COURTESY

He was also reinstated as its party leader in a ceremony held at Wote town, the headquarters of Makueni County.

The second term governor was elected for the final term in office on a Wiper Democratic Movement ticket. He later disagreed with Kalonzo Musyoka, the party leader who accused him of defying the Memorandum of Understanding they signed ahead of 2017 general polls.

Kibwana took a swipe at leaders whom he termed as having been at the political scene for too long yet they were unable to find solutions to what ails the Kenyan economy.

Some of the issues that Prof Kibwana intends to address if he is elected president next year are fighting corruption, job creation and reviving the economy that has been battered by Covid-19.

Last month, 22 Kamba clans endorsed Kibwana to run for presidency. He welcomed the endorsement and said he was ready to work with other likeminded leaders to win the presidential seat next year.

Kibwana’s endorsement by Muungano party and the Akamba clans is expected to cause jitters in a region where Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka is perceived to be the de-facto leader of the community on matters politics.

 Before his resignation from Wiper party, Kibwana was facing disciplinary committee which had recommended his removal from party due to disloyalty and non-remittance of subscription fees.

The Makueni governor is the founder of Muungano party with which he vied for Makueni gubernatorial elections in 2013 and won. In 2017, he ditched the party and joined Wiper party on whose ticket he is serving the second and final terms as the county boss.

Another second term governor from the region who has declared his interest to run for presidency is Alfred Mutua of Machakos County.

While appearing before the Senate in May this year, the Makueni governor was put to task to explain away claims of nepotism in his government where his brother Dr Patrick Musyoki Kibwana  was a Health Chief Officer who dismissed doctors. He said that he does not appoint county chief officers. “That is the work of the PSB and it so happened that my brother was among the candidates and the name was taken to the county assembly and was approved”, he told the Senate.

Muungano party suffered a defeat in Kithuki/Kitise ward by-election where Wiper candidate won.  The party has not even fronted a contender in the Nguu/Masumba ward by-election slated for October 14. The seat is vacant due to MCA Harris Ngui dying in a road accident in June this year. Among the candidates who have been approved by IEBC is Eshio Mwaiwa of Wiper Democratic Movement and Daniel Musau of UDA.

Kitise elections

 Wiper candidate in Kitise/Kithuki by-election Sebastian Muli defeated Joseph Kioko alias Think Tower of Muungano party by garnering 3,892 votes against Kioko’s 878 in a peaceful election marked by low voter turn-out.

The Kitise/Kithuki by-election was seen as yet another supremacy contest between Kalonzo and Kivutha. To confirm the rivalry between the two, Muungano candidate Joseph Kioko was arrested by police on the eve of by-election for what police said was contravening curfew protocols. He appeared on the polling booth clutching on crutches. Governor Kibwana termed Mr Kioko’s arrest as intimidation by security agencies.

Kitise/Kithuki MCA seat fell vacant after Mr Kevin Mutuku resigned in November 2020 and became the clerk of Makueni County Assembly.


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