Kibwana’s brigade ejected over anti-Kalonzo slur in a funeral-politics turned battle arena

Six MPs from lower Eastern Ukambani region show sign of togetherness at Mlongo Town in Athi River yesterday. They accused Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua, Kitui Governor Chality Ngilu and their Makueni counterpart Prof Kivutha Kibwana of undermining former vice president Kalonzo Musyoka's leadership. [PHOTO: PETERSON GITHAIGA/STANDARD]

The growing rift between Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka and Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana played out at a burial ceremony at the weekend.

The rivalry nearly marred the burial of former nominated councilor Agnes Musili's son in Kinyambu, Thange ward in Kibwezi East constituency on Saturday when current and former ward representatives accused Prof Kibwana of leading a rebellion against the former vice president.

The clash started after former Kibwana's chief officer for devolution, Musyoka Kivungi, stood to respond to calls by Kamba clan elders to the governor to stop attacks towards Kalonzo.

The elders had warned Kibwana against derailing Kalonzo’s presidential bid. “Let him not keep on attacking Kalonzo on grounds of his performance, Kalonzo has no kitty for development. Let the three governors work for the people, they have our taxes,” the elders had said.

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Mr Kivungi's defence of Kibwana incensed the ward representatives, who accused him of giving some youths handouts to block the governor's critics from speaking at the funeral. The burial ceremony briefly halted as Kivungi and his colleagues were ejected.

The County Wiper Chair Francis Mutuku said any call for fresh leadership in Ukambani on the pretext of developing the region was not genuine.

“If there is a sin that will not be forgiven, it is the one committed towards Kalonzo Musyoka. We will support him since he is a step away from presidency,” said Mr Mutuku.

Former Speaker Stephen Ngelu said Kalonzo was not behind the bad blood between county chiefs and MCAs in Ukambani. He claimed some leaders had hired youths to disrupt the burial.

Last week, Kibwana took to social media to announce that he was ready to be "divorced" by Wiper Party. “If Wiper and I agreed to divorce, that wouldn’t be the end of it all,” he wrote.

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Wiper Party leader Kalonzo MusyokaGovernor Kivutha KibwanaRivalryBurialAllies