Top Stories / Counties
Tuesday, 09 May 2017 12:44 EATnewsdesk@kenyafreepress.com
Machakos Deputy Governor Bernard Kiala has today relinquished his membership in NASA running mate Kalonzo Musyoka’s Wiper party and declared that he would contest the gubernatorial post as an independent candidate.
Mr Kiala follows the footsteps of Kitui Senator David Musila after Wiper gave the nomination certificate to the incumbent Dr Julius Malombe in a controversial exercise which Mr Musila claims he had won, and for which he accuses Mr Musyoka of going against the National Election Board (NEB) to have Malombe awarded the ticket.
Mr Kiala's move comes less than 24 hours after Machakos Senator Johnson Muthama ditched Wiper and withdrew his candidature to seek re-election in the August 8 polls, citing what he termed unjust nominations for the governor’s seats in Makueni, Machakos and Kitui counties, which he blamed on the party leader.
Mr Muthama, who appeared to support Ukambani leaders going independent after Mr Musyoka allegedly sacrificed them during the shambolic nomination, said, “I encourage those blackmailed by the party to take the option of running as independent candidates. I am contemplating my next move. There will be a bruising political battle in Ukambani. The voice of the people will be heard. They will never be ignored or bullied, ever again”.
The Senate Minority Whip, whose preferred candidate for the party’s ticket for Machakos governor’s seat was Mr Kiala, insisted that Wiper party nominee Wavinya Ndeti should not have been allowed to participate in the Wiper party primaries in the first place.
Mr Muthama was the second high-ranking official from Wiper to quit the party after Mr Musila left to run as an independent after losing contested nominations to Governor Malombe.
Others aggrieved by the Wiper nominations are likely to go independent include Bernard Kitungi (Mwingi West), and Former LSK President Eric Mutua who is currently fighting for Wiper ticket in court after it was issued to former PS Dr Gideon Mulyungi after what he termed chaotic primaries for Mwingi Central Parliamentary seat.
In a statement to media houses, Mr Kiala said “I have therefore relinquished my membership in the Wiper party. Still, I will steadfastly pursue my vision to deliver people-driven governance and shared prosperity in Machakos. On August 8, I will be seeking election as Governor for Machakos as an Independent candidate”.
He says he has not only been loyal to the Wiper party, but has sacrificially fought for its interests in Machakos and expressed pride having remained steadfast and committed to the cause. “As curtains close on the nominations period, I am persuaded beyond doubt that democratic principles are not important to key sections of the Wiper Party leadership”.
Mr Kiala revisited the Sunday nomination, when he lost to Ms Ndeti saying over 90 percent of registered voters in Machakos did not participate in the exercise adding “Not even the little time available after ballot materials arrive late would explain the hilarious vote tallies cooked by my opponent’s loyalists”.