Governors root for progress

Governors Charity Ngilu (Kitui), Alfred Mutua (Machakos) and Kivutha Kibwana (Makueni) in a show of unity at Masinga market in Machakos County yesterday where they vowed to work together to spur development in the three counties. [Photo: Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

Three governors from Ukambani have vowed that no amount of political arm-twisting will stop them from actualising their development agenda for the region.

Speaking yesterday at Masinga market after the commissioning of the Kivandini-Masinga road, governors Alfred Mutua (Machakos), Charity Ngilu (Kitui) and Kivutha Kibwana (Makueni) said that turf wars had derailed progress. They challenged elected leaders to put the electorate’s interests first.

Political barbs were also directed at Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka, with claims made that Wiper ward representatives were taking advantage of their numbers in the county assemblies to frustrate the governors.

“I do not think it is wise for MCAs to continue their wars with governors. Those politics will not take us anywhere because, in the final analysis, it is residents who will suffer. Governors must be allowed to deliver their mandate to the people who elected them,” said Prof Kibwana.

Kibwana, who is the Wiper acting chairman, reiterated his earlier position that he would not accept to be forced to support Kalonzo’s presidential ambition.

“They (Wiper members) must stop threatening us by telling us we must support so and so for the presidency. Anyone who wants to vie for the presidency has a right to do so under the Constitution. Mutua has declared interest in the presidency and I have also been urged by a section of Kenyans to run for the same seat. Therefore, no one is spoiling for the other,” Kibwana said.

The Makueni Governor noted that the three leaders were qualified to negotiate and lobby for development projects on behalf of the community.

“As a community, we should ask ourselves how we can move forward. Those are the issues we want our people to start digesting ahead of 2022,” he said.

Dr Mutua said they would remain committed and focus on addressing the challenges facing Ukambani residents like poverty and unemployment.

“We have agreed to pursue the Big Four agenda outlined by President Uhuru Kenyatta in order to transform the lives of Kenyans. We also support the President’s model of developing all regions in the country,” he said.

Dr Mutua, who is also the Maendeleo Chap Chap party leader, reiterated that he was eyeing the presidency. “I am still in the 2022 presidential race because I want to transform this country. The next Government will either be formed by us, or we will be part of it.”

Mrs Ngilu said they had agreed to initiate joint development programmes in the spirit of the recently established South Eastern Kenya Economic Bloc.

“We want to build on our shared values, culture, and potential to end poverty in Ukambani. We urge other leaders to rise and address the main challenges facing our people, and not their personal interests,” she said.

But in a quick rejoinder, Kalonzo’s supporters told off the governors while defending the former vice-president.

At a presser held at Parliament Buildings, regional leaders, including Kitui Senator Enock Wambua, and MPs Robert Mbui and Gideon Mulyungi, reprimanded the three governors for leading “an evil axis” against Kalonzo’s leadership.

The MPs challenged Kibwana to resign from his position and force a by-election.

“Kibwana has absconded his responsibilities as a chairman of the party. He ought to leave the party and preoccupy himself with his attacks on Kalonzo,” said Mr Mbui.

Mr Wambua said: “They are up against the people of Ukambani and they will face the people’s full wrath in the proper order of time.

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UkambaniAlfred MutuaKivutha KibwanaKalonzo MusyokaSouth Eastern Kenya Economic Bloc