Kalonzo, Kibwana fallout splits Ukambani ahead of 2022 elections

Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana and Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka, whose rift threatens Ukambani unity. [Photo, File]

Ukambani might land again in the cold as the Wiper party, the powerful party in the region, seems to split ahead of the 2022 elections.

Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana, who doubles as the Wiper chairman, has differed with party leader Kalonzo Musyoka over what political pundits say is driven by personal ambition and achievements. Both are eyeing the house on the hill.

On Friday, Kalonzo called for unity of the Kamba community ahead of 2022. He was accompanied by Mbooni MP Erastus Kivasu at a funds drive in Mbooni, a function skipped by Kibwana.

“Nobody should be tempted to distract the unity of the Kamba community, we are stronger than before," Kalonzo said.

After the church function, Kalonzo transversed to Nguni primary school for a goat auction and cultural festival that brought together Kitui Senator Enock Wambua, Mwingi Central MP Gideon Mulyungi, Makueni MP Daniel Maanzo and Masinga MP Joseph Mwalyo.

At the fold of event, a section of the legislators said as a community they had settled on the Wiper leader as the Kamba kingpin.

Such statements have not been taken lightly by the Makueni governor who expressed his anger in an avowal that was shared in social media, prompting heated argument on the political future of Wiper, and the Kamba community.

In what seemed to be directed to the Wiper leader, Kibwana said to secure a collective future as a united community, they should ask residents from the three Ukambani counties which leader they prefer.

“Kalonzo Musyoka has been in office since 1985, Ngilu since 1992, Kibwana since 2002, and Mutua since 2013. Maybe it is time for the community to summon us, including former Machakos Senator Johnston Muthama, to account for our past work and future vision," he said.

Machakos Governor Dr. Alfred Mutua has expressed his willingness to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta, widening the rift in the Ukambani bloc.

Mutua said Kalonzo has been given the mantle to lead the community for long and has done “nothing tangible for the people" as compared to leaders who served in the same government from other communities.

The three Ukambani governors who recently revived the South Eastern Kenya Economic Bloc (SEKEB) have been seeking a developmental handshake with Uhuru without necessarily consulting Kalonzo.

“The three south eastern governors wish for a development handshake with the President. They respect wiper’s collaboration with Jubilee. This doesn’t mean we cannot, as elected governors, have another level of engagement which is beneficial to the community with Uhuru," Kibwana said.

Makueni residents took to social media in support of Kibwana’s sentiments while others criticised him for playing victim.

Nominated Wiper MCA Mbula Mutula, who is Kibwana’s firm critic, wrote, “No one is opposed to his [Kibwana’s] presidential bid but we are opposed to his pretence of thinking he’s Mr. Right."

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South Eastern Kenya Economic BlocKibwanaNgiluMbooni MP Erastus KivasuAlfred MutuaKalonzo Musyoka