April 27th 2017

Top Stories / 2017 Elections

Machakos County gearing up for grueling battle between Wiper and Chap Chap

While Mutua has vigorously extended the Chap Chap gospel to the neighboring Kitui and Makueni counties, his critics within Wiper Party led by Machakos senator Johnstone Muthama have interpreted his move as a plot to spoil for Kalonzo, who is regarded as a potential flag bearer for CORD in 2017.

By Mutinda MulwaSaturday, 09 Jul 2016 23:33 EAT

Governor Mutua is welcomed by residents of Kinyui in Matungulu constituency during a recent tour of the region. (Photo: Mutinda Mulwa/Kenya Free Press)

The recent declaration by Governor Alfred Mutua that his newly launched Maendeleo Chap Chap and unity movement will soon commence a membership recruitment drive could complicate party politics in Machakos County and by extension the entire Ukambani region.

Dr Mutua, who made the announcement at Kyevaluki Market last week while inspecting water and road projects appeared to put to rest the lingering speculation as to whether or not Chap Chap movement would ‘mutate’ into a political party.

“We will soon open offices in all major shopping centers where we will recruit supporters of Maendeleo Chap Chap in readiness for  next year’s general election,” he said.

The announcement appeared to send the clearest message ever that the Governor was not keen to reconcile with Wiper party boss Kalonzo Musyoka, with whom he has fallen out politically.

That means the entry of Mutua’s Maendeleo Chap Chap might complicate things for the predominant Wiper party as well as Chama Cha Uzalendo (CCU) led by former Kathiani MP Wavinya Ndeti, which have been enjoying massive support in the region.

In the last general elections, Wiper only managed to bag three parliamentary seats out of the possible eight in Machakos County. They are Matungulu, Mavoko and Kathiani that were captured by Stephen Mule, Patrick Makau and Robert Mbui respectively.

Machakos Town MP Victor Munyaka and his Mwala counterpart Vincent Musyoka were elected on CCU party tickets. In Kangundo, Kyengo Katatha won on TIP ticket while Francis Mwangangi captured the Yatta seat on Muungano Party's ticket. Masinga MP Itwiku Mbai came through on Ford People party ticket.

While Mutua has vigorously extended the Chap Chap gospel to the neighboring Kitui and Makueni counties, his critics within Wiper Party led by Machakos senator Johnstone Muthama have interpreted his move as a plot to spoil for Kalonzo, who is being regarded as a potential flag bearer for the CORD coalition in the presidential race.

The dilemma facing dozens of aspiring candidates for various elective positions is therefore immense given the prevailing political climate. Senator Muthama, one of the most influential politicians in Wiper, has on several occasions urged all aspirants to join the party and support whichever candidate wins in the primaries in order to strengthen the party.

However, Wiper is facing serious credibility issues with regard to the manner it carried out its previous nominations. Recently, parliamentary aspirants in Matungulu led by Paul Mkulima expressed doubts that nominations in Wiper would be fair and democratic.

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