Chirau Mwakwere has put in motion preparations to contest for Kwale governor’s seat for the second time in 2022 general elections with an eye on Kamba bloc vote.
A few months ago, the ex-Transport minister was appointed interim Wiper party chairman replacing Makueni governor Kivutha Kibwana who has fallen out with party leader Kalonzo Musyoka.
The Kamba community is the third largest vote bloc in Kwale county with a voting strength estimated at 57,000 votes as per last general elections figures.
And the Duruma community from whom current governor Salim Mvurya hails from have the highest number of votes estimated to be over 105,000 followed by Digos with 95,000 votes. The county had a total of 282,000 voters as at the 2017 general elections.
Instructively, Mwakwere ran on a Wiper ticket in the last general elections but had difficult time with Kamba voters after he overlooked them and picked a running mate from the Duruma community.
They claimed this was the same manner in which he sidelined them in NG-CDF allocations for bursaries and other development projects when he served as Matuga MP but expected them to vote for him.
Matuga constituency covers Shimba Hills area in Kwale county which is predominantly occupied by members of the immigrant Kamba community.
It is said that Kalonzo has assured Mwakwere that he would personally intervene to ensure that the Kwale Kambas rally behind him ahead of 2022.
Mwakwere will this time round pick a Kamba as his running mate to counter the Duruma vote which he is not sure of getting especially due to the emergence of one Lung’anzi Chai, a senior engineer at Kenya Ports Authority whose euphoria was fast spreading across the county.
He enjoys greatest support from his Kinango subcounty home base which is considered the largest voting bloc in the county. He is also emerging as the frontrunner in Lunga Lunga constituency whose MP Khatib Mwashetani is also eyeing the Kwale governorship seat.
It was not immediately clear whom Lung’anzi will pick as running mate but speculation is rife that he intends to go for a Digo from either Matuga or Msambweni constituencies.
His supporters claim, with plans to hand over Shimoni port to be run by Kwale county, Lung’anzi will use his KPA experience to make the new port efficient for the benefit of residents and Kenyans at large