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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 28 September 2014

HIDDEN FACES BEHIND KIBWANA'S WOES AS 2017 POLITICS SHAPE UP



Makueni governor Kivutha Kibwana is now blaming the woes facing him on Kalonzo Musyoka and citing the fact that Kalonzo has not come out to chastise his Wiper party reps and MPs after the gunfight at the county offices.

The gunfire that led to five hospitalised with bullet wounds was sparked by a bid by Kivutha to storm a meeting that was held to apparently to work on modalities to remove him. In the ouster meeting were members of parliament from Makueni and the senator Mutula Kilonzo Jnr. This is the second time that the governor is facing an onslaught from MCAs with the first attempt that led to his hospitalisation in Israel last year from high blood pressure. He at the time announced he would be resigning the next day but then changed his mind in the eleventh hour.

Not in disimilar tactic, Kivutha is now threatening to ask the president to dissolve the county government since it was wallowing in “irreconcilable differences” that make it hard to deliver services to the residents.

The constitutional lawyer says he is consulting widely with residents of Makueni to have the government dissolved since the infightings that have been rocking its operations and the goings-on at the county are hindering service delivery to the residents.

 When he first threatened to resign, he later reversed the idea after the intervention of Kalonzo, who helped cool down the vicious MCAs then baying for governor’s blood. Why Kalonzo has not repeated the gesture has left many guessing. The governor elected on a Muungano ticket has of late found himself on the receiving end of power intrigues aimed at ousting him and his executive members as 2017 politics shape-up.

The former constitutional law don at the University of Nairobi who once served as a minister under Kibaki regime and also as the MP for Makueni constituency was last week whisked away by his security detail while he uncharacteristically attempted to attend the fateful meeting held by the county leaders at the Assembly Hall.

This touched off fracas  between his supporters and county reps which led to injuries after gunshots were fired by speaker’s security detail. Kibwana’s chief of staff Douglas Mbilo was hospitalised with scores nursing gunshot wounds.

 The meeting was attended by MPs Kisoi Munyao (Mbooni), Ruth Museo (women rep), Jessica Mbalu (Kibwezi East), Regina Ndambuki (Kilome), Patrick Musimba (Kibwezi West) Junior and all MCAs from the county.

The meeting disguised as consultative meeting however left out the governor who was not invited to the event.
The meeting was a follow-up of another one held at Mombasa and graced by the senator who flew to the Coastal town after attending parents’ day function at Mbooni Boys School were he was the chief guest. It remains unclear who footed the bills and transport allowances for the leaders at the coastal town were they spent three days laying ground for Kibwana’s impeachment with word going round that the monied Musimba was behind the meeting.

Also present at Mombasa retreat was the county speaker Stephen Ngelu who is alleged to be creating space for the assembly to send the governor packing for underfunding the assembly in his budget. The governor has come out publicly accusing the speaker of undermining his government through county reps. Kibwana frugally funded the assembly in last year’s budget only allocating them Sh400 million according to the aggrieved MCAs as opposed to their neighbouring counterparts in Machakos who got Sh864 m enabling the MCAs to swim in money, traveling the world with some trips dismissed as unproductive to the electorate. In Kitui county, Governor Julius Malombe allocated the assembly over Sh700 million and this has made the Makueni MCAs vow to kick Kibwana out.

The governor has been a strong defender of the former VP ever since he was sworn into office. Although the Wiper party presented Prof Philip Kaloki for Makueni governor’s seat, he was trounced by the law professor with word on ground. Kaloki would later ditch Wiper to join Jubilee coalition and is now the KMTC chairman.

There is now talk that Kalonzo  is tacitly enjoying the duel between Musimba and Kivutha so that he can be called to play peacemaker and hence maintain his relevance in Ukambani politics. There are even those who say that Kalonzo is the architect of the crisis and his scheme is to ensure that there is no peace enjoyed by any governor in Ukambani reportedly so that there is no development achieved as this will expose his decades’ long stay in government as barren.

Those of this view say the war waged against Machakos governor Alfred Mutua by the county senator Johnson Muthama who is a Kalonzo ally is part of the scheme to distabilise them so that they do not deliver. Others say Kalonzo has vowed to punish Kivutha for refusing to part with a monthly Sh500,000 that the three governors of Ukambani allegedly give to Kalonzo. Kivutha has reportedly been grumbling that he will have to account for the money.   

Anotrher paerson Kivutha blames for the chaos is county speaker Ngelu who failed to clinch the Kibwezi East parliamentary seat where he contested on a URP ticket but lost to Wiper’s Jessica Mbalu. Ngelu served as the secretary to Kibwezi CDF when Kaloki was the MP. Amongst Cord supporters, he is viewed as a Kaloki sidekick and by extension, Jubilee government.

A source who attended the closed-door meeting in Mombasa intimated that the Kibwezi West MP Musimba lobbied for support and declared his interest for governorship as supremacy wars emerged in the county where Kalonzo has been enjoying support. It is alleged Musimba is out to spoil for Kivutha  and at the end, run for governorship come 2017.

 Musimba was elected as an independent candidate surviving a Cord wave beating Kalembe Ndile. He is said to be a man of means.
By fighting Kibwana, those versed with Makueni politics say Musimba is consolidating his support through elected leaders as he prepares to launch his quest. This has irked Wiper MPs still behind Kalonzo who have termed the move as a Jubilee trick to split Kamba leaders. Led by Mavoko MP Patrick Makau, the MP’s termed the fracas as an attempt to cause political turmoil and read a sinister motive on why leaders never invited the governor who is in charge of county funds.