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The problems Kitui gubernatorial aspirants face in 2022 polls

 Is Ngilu an easy soup to gulp? Will she win her second term in office in the next General Elections?

Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu speaks at a past event. She is facing four contenders to dislodge her from the gubernatorial perch.  Only former senator David Musila is from Mwingi side of Kitui.The others are former Governor Julius Malombe, Kenyan Ambassador to Uganda Kiema Kilonzo and former Nairobi Deputy Governor Jonathan Mueke. Majority of Kitui gubernatorial candidates are from Kitui Central sub county. Photo/FILE

These and other questions are being asked within and outside the county because her bastion is seemingly under siege from her former allies and political adversaries.

With the 2022 General Election just about a year away, the Governor’s political domain not only seems up for grabs but also her political influence appears to be dimming day by day.

Mwingi Times can authoritatively report today that when Ngilu took over the county leadership in 2017, she vowed to bring lasting change to the social-economic welfare of Kitui people using her five-pillar development agenda.

She said she will not bow to intimidation, threats or blackmail orchestrated by a few elements opposed to development.

“My leadership will remain focused with an open-door policy for residents,” Ngilu said when she took the oath of office.

The governor said her administration has structured plans to empower the youth and create jobs such as the newly established Kitui County Textiles Centre (Kicotec), which will create over 600 new opportunities.

The County boss said the government has a clear agenda and a workable strategy that will enable her to deliver her campaign pledges.

Ngilu further promised to bring a lasting change to the social-economic welfare of Kitui people using her five-pillar development agenda. She named food and water, healthcare, education, youth and women empowerment, and wealth creation as her areas of focus.

However, she has been besieged at home at every corner.

Her throne has attracted a wave of opposition with at least four contenders declaring interest to oust her in 2022 elections.

They are former Governor Julius Malombe, former senator David Musila, Kenyan Ambassador to Uganda Kiema Kilonzo and former Nairobi deputy governor Jonathan Mueke.

Mrs Ngilu’s political acrimony intensified in June last year after ward representatives moved to impeach her.

But the impeachment motion was defeated at its infancy.

The majority Wiper Party and allied MCAs presented the motion to the assembly clerk, accusing her of violation of the Constitution, abuse of office and gross misconduct.


But the motion was postponed to a later date to give the mover, the assembly majority leader and Athi MCA, Peter Kilonzo alias Tangawizi to seek more time to “organise and put his house team in order”. The fate of the motion remains uncertain and without any indication it will ever be tabled before the Assembly.

However, analysts warn that the governor is not an easy soup to gulp. “Dethroning Ngilu is no walk in the pack,” one political expert opined.

They further say that the governor’s power arising from her control of the county resources would give her an edge over MCAs in their bid to deliver on their development promises to the electorate and therefore enable her to manipulate their actions at the county assembly.

Another forte for Ngilu is her local and international political networks gained over the years which effortlessly place her among the top most politicians in Kenya thereby providing her with connections she needs to wage a cut-throat political battle against her opponents.

During the 2017 disputed Wiper party preliminaries, Musila lost to Malombe. He polled 74,308 votes against Malombe's 88,380. The former senator later announced his dissatisfaction and decamped the party.

Musila accused the party’s leader Kalonzo Musyoka of conspiring with his opponent to deny him victory. He subsequently resigned as the Wiper party chairman and vowed to teach Kalonzo and Malombe a lesson as an independent candidate during the General polls.

The former senator and the former Vice President are yet to mend their political differences.

On the other hand, Ngilu, Malombe, Kiema and Mueke are poised to split the larger Kitui vote to the advantage of Musila on the basis the four all hail from the populous former larger Changwithya location in Kitui Central constituency.

Musila enjoys apparently a vote-block from his Mwingi region home-turf, consisting of Mwingi West, Mwingi Central, Mwingi East and Mwingi North constituencies.

Musila has publicly declared his interest to replace Ngilu and “bring sanity and restore people’s confidence in county leadership”.

The former senator who is also the National Museum of Kenya chairman, claimed Ngilu's government has marginalised other sub counties and wards in favour of her Kitui Central home tuff in equitable distribution of county resources.

Kiema has been the Mutito (Kitui East) MP for 10 years and he believes he has the constituents well. “I have managed using CDF monies, building more schools and dispensaries. In every location in the constituency there is a dispensary. This is a big achievement,” Kiema says.

He adds, “I have also ensured that no child is at home due to lack of fees whether in secondary, university or any tertiary institution. Despite being one of the country’s poorest counties, it is nevertheless a sleeping giant, sitting on mineral wealth. We need to shape up the county to become Kenya’s mining hub”.

Kiema cuts across as a shrewd politician who knows well the ropes around the political arena.

He hails from the populous Kitui Central area (Kavalula) and is a shrewd and calculating politician with a fair wealth who has climbed the political ladder by making successful calculated and clever moves since he joined politics in 1997.


Malombe, the former governor, is still a force to reckon with in the county's political circles. He is said to be strategizing for a political comeback in 2022.

In the 2017 general election, he lost to Ngilu emerging third in the hotly contested gubernatorial race.

Ngilu won the elections by garnering 169,990 votes against Musila’s 114,827 and Malombe’s 74,681.

It has been an open secret that Ngilu has never taken well to Kalonzo's stature in Ukambani politics.

The former Vice President and Ngilu have occasionally clashed publicly with the governor dismissing Kalonzo as a career Kanu politician who has played an insignificant role in the liberation struggle.

However, Kalonzo has constantly downplayed the rift between him and the governor and called for a ceasefire.

Many times, the former VP has refused to be dragged into the war against Ngilu and chose to remain quiet, patient, resilient and tolerant to both his friends and foes.

Analysts ponder whether Ngilu and her bitter rival Kalonzo will ever make peace.

At the same time, Kitui Senator Enoch Wambua, has taken Ngilu head-on and told her to stop badmouthing Kalonzo and keep him out of her woes.

Wambua urged the governor to desist from dragging the name of the former VP to her self-inflicted woes.

However, Ngilu dismissed her opponents as people who did not have any agenda for residents.

The Governor laughed at their declarations to run against her in 2022 and challenged them to “come to over.”


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