Top Stories / Counties
Thursday, 28 Jul 2016 10:35 EAT
In a sign of new realignments in Machakos County ahead of the 2017 elections, Deputy Governor Bernard Kiala has launched campaigns for the governor’s seat currently held by his boss Alfred Mutua.
Kiala launched his campaign with a massive strategy meeting at his home in Mukusu, Masinga Sub-County, where he also declared his readiness to devise a common electoral plan with former Kathiani MP Wavinya Ndeti, who was the main opponent of the Mutua/Kiala ticket in 2013 elections.
Speaking at the event, which also marked the launch of a civic education programme dubbed Ugatuzi na Kiala, the deputy governor said that Machakos County leaders needed a plan to send their embattled governor, Alfred Mutua, home, saying his boss had failed to provide necessary leadership for taking the region forward economically, politically and socially.
The event was attended many Members of County Assembly (MCAs) who are Governor Mutua’s critics and they did not disappoint mocking the governor for the corruption allegations that have marked his reign and for his failed development projects.
Speakers at the event blasted Mutua’s administration for rampant corruption, some of which have been documented by anti-corruption authorities, and for his pompous style. Some MCAs alleged that the governor’s office, being preoccupied with media relations events rather than actual performance, had been putting up signposts on some projects that were yet to commence.
Speaking at the event, former head of water department in Machakos County Lemi Muiya accused Governor Mutua of arrogance, saying the governor did not consult other officials in authority while devising projects to be undertaken.
Also present was Chama Cha Uzalendo Secretary General Phillip Saja, an ally of Wavinya’s who said it was time for Kiala and Wavinya to join forces to send Governor Mutua home.
Saying Mutua was their ‘common enemy’, Saja urged the two to work together and give the residents of Machakos a leadership "the people can trust."
In response, Kiala said he would consult widely among the residents in formulating his electoral plan. He promised to have a meeting with Wavinya soon to identify the ways in which they can cooperate, saying a merger of the two sides was possible.
He accused Governor Mutua of alienating Machakos people in senior appointments. He also expressed hope that he would get the Wiper party ticket for the seat, saying he was the right man to send Governor Mutua home.
Once close allies, Mutua and Kiala fell out soon after their election in 2013. While their differences were initially seen as personal, they have sparred over fundamental policy and politics.
While the governor cooperates substantially with the Jubilee government, against the wishes of his party, Kiala has remained loyal to opposition coalition, CORD, of which his Wiper Party is a major partner.
The writer is the news editor of the Kenya Free Press