Wiper Party led by Kalonzo Musyoka is embroiled in a political tussle with Chama Cha Uzalendo on how to approach the forthcoming general elections in Machakos County. The friction is derailing a joint campaign which is going to end up affecting the presidential campaigns especially that both Wiper and CCU have fielded candidates in various elective posts. CCU which has been led by Wavinya Ndeti before she joined Wiper to contest for Machakos governors posts is main challenger of Wiper in Machakos county.
During 2013 elections Wavinya who contested on CCU ticket became second to incumbent governor Alfred Mutua who contested on Wiper. Wavinya’s party also bagged two MPs seats and five elected MCAs. Victor Munyaka, Machakos Town and Vincent Musyoka, Mwala won their seats on CCU. Wiper only got three seats. Those who won on Wiper were Patrick Makau, Mavoko, Stephen Mule, Matungulu, and Robert Mbui, Kathiani, the remaining three seats went to Francis Mwangangi of Muungano in Yatta, Katatha Maweu in Kangundo on Tip and Benson Mbai of Masinga through Ford People.
The poor performance by Wiper considered the dominant party is the larger Ukambani was attributed to how it handled its primaries with word that the certificates were awarded to the highest bidder.
Since 2013, the party has not learned from mistakes and now is glaring another election with weak candidates. Although Wavinya defected to Wiper in a deal signed before Kalonzo himself CCU was allowed to field candidates across Ukambani for various seat a move that is now threatening the existence of Wiper. However the wiper team led by her running mate Peter Muthuki is accusing Wavinya of secretly supporting CCU candidates to win elections as opposed to Wiper candidates.
The team has of late embarked on major road shows across the county popularising Wavinya bid but at the same time drumming up support for Wiper candidates. Due to fear of having been rigged out during Wiper nominations, many strong candidates opted to contest on other parties with others going independent. The Wiper party caravan faced hostile receptions in various stopovers across the county as it tried to impose unpopular candidates to voters. The Wiper nominations, according to those who participated in the nomination process were a sham and candidates either bought the Wiper elections board or where rewarded due to their loyalty is opposed to popularity.
Last week in a rejoinder, the CCU brigade fired her first salvo to the Wiper team accusing it of hijacking Nasa events in the county to popularise their bids. In a statement read by Mwangangi, they vowed to campaign for their candidates and demanded respect from the Wiper team.
During the Wiper nominations, one Benedict Ngumbau was in the spotlight for allegedly conning aspirants money in pretext that he was to hand over certificates to them. Yatta aspirant James Mutiso was heard lamenting how he parted with Sh1.5 million to the said Ngumbau but learnt later that it was a con syndicate to swindle cash from aspirants. The conflict has seen Kalonzo order his troops to criss-cross the county and campaign only for Wiper candidates. Kalonzo’s fear is that Wavinya may end up forming a CCU government once elected and sideline her deputy Mathuki. Mathuki is said to have zero influence in Machakos county politics and is only relying on Kalonzo name to pitch tent at county head quarter as a deputy governor. During the hours Wiper team was shocked how their candidates where performing badly with voters shouting them down. In Machakos Town constituency the Wiper candidate Albanus Mutisya is facing hard times in unseating incumbent Munyaka who is defending his seat on a Jubilee ticket. The two terms MP is a good grassroot mobiliser and he is rating high in the cosmopolitan constituency ranking.
During their tour, they met angry residents chanting Mwangangi slogans. The Wiper candidate for Yatta is Mutiso. In Masinga the Wiper candidate Joshua Mwasyo is facing an uphill task in dethroning incumbent Mbai who is defending his seat on a Jubilee ticket. In Matungulu, incumbent Stephen Mule, is battling with his 2013 closest challenger Tom Musau of Jubilee. Tom came second to Mule after he lost in an election occasioned by his petition.
The women rep seat has also attracted a fierce competition where eight candidates have been cleared to run. They include Joyce Kamene, Wiper, Agnes Kavindu, and Jubilee, Rita Ndunge, independent, Florence Mutinda, Maendeleo Chap Chap and Susan Musyoka, independent.
The Machakos County senate race has Jackson Kala of Wiper, Boniface Kabaka, of CCU and Mutua Katuku of PTP. In 2013 elections, Wiper managed 20 out of 40 elective wards and will be an uphill task for the party now that many who participated in nominations have gone independent or are supporting rival candidates.
In the senate race, the new entrant Kaka is banking on the influence of Kalonzo while Kabaka and Katuku are relying on their presence in the political scene for some time.
However, it will remain a matter of wait and see now that Jubilee has embarked on a charm offensive to cut Kalonzo’s influence in the region.