July 25th 2017

Top Stories / 2017 Elections

Giants to square it out for Kitui Governor position

As the contest heats up, Wiper Leader and CORD co-principal Kalonzo Musyoka is torn between Musila and Malombe as he sits on the fence to avoid siding with either as both are loyal party members.

By Phillip MuleeSaturday, 09 Jul 2016 23:28 EAT

Political realignments are taking shape in Kitui County as three political giants: former Lands Minister Charity Kaluki Ngilu, Wiper Chairman and Kitui Senator David Musila, and incumbent Dr Julius Malombe plan to square it out for the gubernatorial seat during next year’s general elections.

As the contest heats up, Wiper Leader and CORD co-principal Kalonzo Musyoka is torn between Musila and Malombe as he sits on the fence to avoid siding with either as both are loyal party members.

And with talk that Ngilu could be warming up towards joining Coalition for reforms and Democracy (CORD) before next year’s polls, the contest becomes more complicated.

Already the three have hit the ground selling their manifesto and spearheading voter registration by first mobilizing people to acquire National Identity cards.

Dr Malombe, the incumbent has unique advantages owing to the fact he has initiated a number of development projects throughout the vast county. It is these he using as a springboard to seek re-election.

His latest initiative to provide water to the residents of the county through drilling of boreholes is winning him admiration from a people long starved of the resource, whose scarcity is also blamed for perennial food shortages. The governor has an ambitious water development programme that aims to reduce the distance residents have to travel to get clean water.

Dr Malombe in 2014 launched his eight-point Kitui Marshal Plan to spur development through job and wealth creation. The plan involves development projects in education, water, agriculture, entrepreneurship, roads, youth, electrification, mobile telephony and civic education. But since then the Marshal Plan has not been felt.

“Dr Malombe’s performance has been diminishing in the previous years after failing to implement priority projects that are core to the residents at the grassroots. But residents are now happy that he has drilled boreholes and making water accessible to them”, says one among his supporters who did not want to be named.

Ngilu on her part is banking on development projects she initiated during her service as Cabinet minister and as Kitui Central Member of Parliament for twenty years (1992-2012).

Musila on his part is selling his successful career as a long serving provincial administrator. He wants to use this as a good example to propel the electorate into electing him governor to administrator their county funds.

As the three prepare for the battle, aspirants for the positions of Members of the County Assembly, Members of Parliament, Women Representative and Senator are also realigning themselves with the ‘County Giants’.

A big number of current serving members of Parliament including the Leader of Minority in Parliament and Kitui West MP Francis Nyenze have thrown weight behind Senator Musila. Others are Charles Nyamai (Kitui rural), Marcus Mutua Muluvi (Kitui East), Benson Makali Mulu (Kitui Central), Bernard Munywoki Kitungi (Mwingi West) and Nyiva Mwendwa (Women Representative).

The remaining three MPs have switched their allegiance to the Jubilee government. They are John Munuve (Mwingi North), Joe Mutambu (Mwingi Central) and Rachel Kaki Nyamai (Kitui South).

A big number of MCAs are behind Dr Malombe, but there is fear that the Wiper Party nomination could be skewed in favour of Musila and his team. Unconfirmed reports speculated to the effect that Dr Malombe was shopping for a party in the event of being rejected during preliminaries.

Ngilu who has her party Narc intact will have no challenger, but a big number of aspirants for the other elective positions be it MCA, MPs and Women Representative are lining up in her party.

Deputy Governor Peninah Malonza has landed herself in trouble with her boss Dr Malombe after being suspected to be associating with Senator Musila.

On Thursday Dr Malombe ordered the microphone be switched off when she began addressing a meeting in Mutomo, her home-turf, where the governor was launching a water project.

“Dr Malombe went ahead and instructed area police boss to go and grab the microphone from the Deputy Governor”, Pat Safari posted on a WhatsApp group on Kitui politics.

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