Leaders allied to Kalonzo Musyoka in Makueni are jostling for county seats with the aim of controlling the county politics in 2022. The county which has fully backed Kalonzo since 2002 is now at the centre of political storm after Governor Kivutha Kibwana parted ways with the Wiper boss.
Kibwana is serving his final term in office and is also said to be working on his lineup to counter the Kalonzo allied faction.
The governor who is out to control the political happenings in the county after his exit has secretly drawn up his secret lineup. Kibwana who is now facing onslaught from Wiper MCAs and MPs allied to Kalonzo is out to plant a candidate of his choice on Makueni voters. Kibwana is irked by the fact that top Wiper decision making organ met last month and voted for his removal as the party chairman for going against the wish of the Kalonzo by joining Governor Alfred Mutua in calling for Kalonzo to quit politics.
His post as chairman was taken up by former minister Chirau Mwakwere.
The move to replace Kibwana has escalated political wars in Makueni county with the governor now preparing to take over Muungano party where he was once the party leader. The governor now wants to use Muungano to field candidates in the entire county to check Wiper.
Kalonzo on his side has wooed back leaders who had defected to other parties after differing with Kibwana in the last polls, back to Wiper even as he prepares to control the county politics. Kalonzo has won back former MPs Philip Kaloki, Mutinda Mutiso, Katemi Makenga, Kisoi Munyao and Regina Ndambuki.
The former MPs lost their seats for going against Kalonzo in the county but are now back to him to boost their chances of reclaiming their seats.
The move by Kalonzo to even engage former MCAs whom Kibwana had buried is causing the governor sleepless nights. Kibwana had used his position as chairman to deny the rebel MCAs Wiper certificates eventually making them lose their seats.
However, Kalonzo’s dalliance with former MPs is causing ripples among sitting MPs who are reading a sinister motive.
The MPs who fear losing their seats complain that Kalonzo is now relying on the advice from the former leaders and rarely meets them. The Kibwana succession is gaining momentum with the race already crowded. Those keen to succeed Kibwana include Kaloki, the county senator Mutula Kilonzo Junior, women rep Rose Museo, Kibwezi West MP Patrick Musimba, real estate tycoon David Masika. Also said to be intrested is Kibwezi East MP Jessica Mbalu.
Mutula has of late gone mute on his support for Kalonzo and is said to be gravitating towards Kivutha. Mutula complains that he is no longer the Wiper candidate and fears to be shortchanged in primaries. The entry of the women rep in the race has complicated matrix for the senator after it emerged that Kalonzo has soft spot for her.
The senator is also not comfortable with the emergence of Musimba in Wiper circles. The two-term MP has gone public on his desire to succeed Kibwana and has put up a secretariat in Nairobi to plan for his quest. If he runs he will also have to contend with Kaloki who also comes from Kibwezi. The two Kibwezis form the largest voting bloc in the county.
However, Musimba will have fight to neutralise the Kibwana support base which according to observers is tilting towards Mutula. Kibwana diehards say that the senator has given their governor conducive environment to deliver while his critics say the senator has failed on his oversight roles and only concentrates on national political matters.
The senate seat has attracted Makueni MP Daniel Maanzo and former minister Gideon Ndambuki.
Ndambuki had remained silent after losing Makueni governor seat race in 2017 were he contested on a Jubilee ticket.He has of late decamped from Jubilee.