By Onesmus Nzioka
Kilome MP John Harun Mwau, popularly known as ‘Boss’ has received a lot of endorsement in the race for the Makueni senate seat.
A number of parliamentary, governor, county representative aspirants and civic groups have endorsed Mr Mwau as preferred candidate for the senator.
Most of the endorsements for the Kilome MP cut across different political parties.
Former United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) projects manager Tom Luusa, a gubernatorial aspirant on a United Republican Party ticket, is the latest to endorse Mr Mwau.
When he recently launched his blueprint for the governor seat at Kwa Kathoka market, Mr Luusa expressed support for Mr Mwau as his preferred senator.
Thrown his weight
“As an aspiring governor for Makueni, I support Mr Mwau as my senator because I feel together we can initiate the required development to pull the county out of poverty that has bedeviled it for years,” says Mr Luusa.
Mr Luusa says Mr Mwau is one of the eminent entrepreneurs the country has, and would be a valuable asset to the county.
“A personality like Mwau is what this county needs to achieve the much required development through massive investments, formulation of the appropriate business models and technology to stir agricultural and industrial development,” he says.
Mr Luusa says political parties are just technical tools for the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to clear individuals to contest for leadership positions, but should not be an impediment to the election of the right candidates to drive the Country’s development agenda.
The Independent Party (TIP) leader Kalembe Ndile is another politician who has thrown his weight behind Mwau.
Mr Ndile says although he (Ndile) and Mwau are in different parties, with different interests, he supports Mr Mwau for the senate seat because he has a proven record of development as a parliamentarian.
Mr Mwau is the leader of Party of Independent Candidates of Kenya (Pick).
“Mwau is a first time MP for Kilome, but the development he has achieved within that short stint is enough to convince me he is the right person to lead Makueni,” says Mr Ndile.
“TIP will support Mwau to make sure he wins the seat and initiate a development agenda in the whole county as he has done in Kilome,” says Ndile who is contesting for Kibwezi West Constituency parliamentary seat.
Mr Fred Muteti, former aide to Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka and Makueni parliamentary aspirant recently led a group of civic leaders, aspirants, clergymen, women and youth leaders in declaring support for Mr Mwau.
While launching his bid at Matiliku Township, Mr Muteti declared support for Mr Mwau saying he was the best suited senate aspirant to lead the County through the transition period.
He led the more than 500 community leaders in declaring support for the Kilome MP.
A number of aspirants for the governor seat have shown a soft spot for the Kilome MP with majority of them said to be eyeing his support, which would give them an edge in the contest.
Mr Mwau on his side has remained non-committal over the choice of his preferred candidates, choosing rather to campaign for his senate post.
He has also stayed clear of the presidential race, saying he is ready to work with any candidate democratically elected by the people.
His message to voters has been: “Do not be misled into voting the so-called six-piece packages designed by political parties. Vote individuals based on their capabilities and development record in past engagements.”
Observers say his current political wave has not come easy but through investment in the best political brokers and appropriate utilisation of CDF funds in his Kilome constituency.
One civic leader, Tom Mboya, had this to say about the Kilome MP; “Mwau is popular, has his own money, he has utilised CDF funds to the satisfaction of the people and he is also a man with power; when he says something no man can object.”
Although conspicuously absent from most public events, his swift tongued lieutenants are known to steal the show in those events when they take the podium to market him and his policies.
This has kept live his campaigns even in his absence on the ground.
Mr Mwau is battling for the senate seat with two other contestants,; Education minister Mutula Kilonzo and Agriculture assistant minister Gideon Ndambuki.
Mr Mutula and Mr Ndambuki are locked in a tussle for the Wiper party ticket nominations, with Ndambuki said to be approaching other parties to run on.
A source familiar with the assistant minister’s campaigns told the County Weekly that Mr Ndambuki was in talks with a number of parties among them TIP, TNA and DP for a possible defection from Wiper.
A senior TIP official confirmed Ndambuki had approached the party but declined to give any further details. Ndambuki could not be reached for comment.
Recently, the two shared a podium in Kaiti constituency, where they agreed to support whoever wins the nomination.
Analysts however say the two must be in the ballot and a pledge to support whoever wins the Wiper nomination was mere rhetoric.