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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 9 November 2014


Wiper party led by Kalonzo Musyoka is facing an internal split as succession wars hot up in Ukambani politics. The party which enjoyed support from his Kamba bastion is embroiled in political tussles as 2017 election shapes up. Kalonzo’s party bagged majority of elected leaders in the three counties stamping his political strength in the last general election. In Kitui county where the party leader hails from, Wiper swept all MPs seats only losing Kitui South to Narc then led by cabinet secretary Charity Ngilu. Wiper won Mwingi North (John Munuve), Francis Nyenze (Kitui West), Kitui Rural (Charles Nyamai), Mutua Muluvi (Kitui East), Joe Mutambu (Mwingi Central) John Kitungi (Mwingi East), Makali Mulu (Kitui Central) and Nyiva Mwendwa (county women MP). It also won Kitui senate which went to David Musila.
In Makueni county Wiper swept all MP slots except one which went to an independent candidate. Five MPs Dan Maanzo (Makueni), Regina Ndambuki (Kilome), Richard Makenga (Kaiti), Kisoi Munyao (Mbooni) and Jesicca Mbalu (Kibwezi East) won on the party ticket. Patrick Musimba won the Kibwezi West as an independent candidate. Makueni governor Kivutha Kibwana who won on Muungano is a close Kalonzo ally.
In Machakos county, the party met strong headwinds with losing in five constituencies to parties allied to Cord and won three. The county elected leaders are now a thorn in flesh to Kalonzo with some urging him to quit politics and pave way for young leaders. Wiper lost in Machakos Town with Kalonzo’s candidate Urbanus Mutisya  trounced by Victor Munyaka who defected to CCU after botched primaries. In Mwala Wiper lost to CCU after Vincent Musyoka trounced Daniel Muoki. In Yatta, Kalonzo’s preferred candidate Charles Kilonzo was defeated by youthful Francis Mwangangi who had defected after being denied the Wiper ticket. In Masinga, Wiper candidate Joseph Mathuki was trounced by Ben Mbai who had contested the seat on a Ford-People ticket. In Kangundo constituency Wiper lost to TIP where Kyengo Katatha won.
In Machakos county Wiper only won in Mavoko, Kathiani and Matungulu constituencies. The county governor Alfred Mutua although he won on a Wiper ticket has not missed words in castigating Kalonzo in the last few weeks.
Two weeks ago, Mutua mobilised the governors of Makueni and Kitui in warning top leaders in the region for allegedly sabotaging devolution. Malombe and Kibwana later retreated leaving the Machakos governor alone. This comes at a time when allies and associates of the governor have registered a new political party. Those close to Mutua say he is only in Wiper in fear of political parties Act and he is preparing to ditch Wiper at an opportune time.
A close source at the governor’s office intimated to Weekly Citizen that Mutua is behind the formation of Party of National Alliance whose symbol is a needle and wants to use the party to form coalition with Jubilee administration come next general election. Founders of the party want Mutua to use it to tame Kalonzo’s Wiper which he fears is controlled by his erstwhile enemy Machakos Senator Johnson Muthama and also create a force by mobilising  leaders behind him.
Political pundits however urgue that by ditching Wiper, the governor will be committing political suicide since he is a Kalonzo political scion and his move will be viewed by voters as betrayal to his mentor. Mutua’s loyalty was brought subject of discussion during the recent Wiper NEC meeting with members demanding his ouster from the party but was spared by Kalonzo himself who urged the organ to give him a chance. However, the organ dewhipped Mutua’s choirmaster Machakos county leader of majority Joshua Mwonga and his Makueni counterpart Francis Mutuku. Mutuku has since apologised to the party.
Observers say Kalonzo will have to deal with dissenting voices from his region if he wants to remain relevant and can only do this by taming Mutua who is fueling internal rebellion. Those versed with Kamba politics however contend that Mutua cannot match Kalonzo as is considered a greenhorn in politics. Although credited for his publicity gimmicks, the governor is known for not engaging voters like Kalonzo. His office is guarded by APs and locals say it is easier to access President Uhuru Kenyatta than Governor Mutua.
 Three weeks ago, he caused a stir in Kitui while attending the funeral of Governor Malombe’s relative. He went equipped with a long motorcade, an ambulance, toilets and chefs who prepared his lunch. His seat was also ferried together with his address system leaving locals confused on whether the president was around. On his part, Senator Muthama is preparing to deal with the governor come next general election. Those close to him say the senator is building a team of candidates for MPs and MCAs across the county to fight Mutua candidates.
He is reportedly prepared to spend millions to see his candidates control the assembly in future, and importantly, sending Mutua home.
Those privy to Mutua’s gameplan say that he plans to strike a deal with Uhuru using his needle party. Mutua is reportedly calculating to become Uhuru’s running mate and has been heard telling his friends when he is drunk which is daily that he has confidential information from his international contacts that William Ruto is likely to be locked out of the next elections by being jailed by the ICC.
His choice of symbol is however not going down well with Kambas who say that it portrays them as people wearing rags that need patching.