Mutua’s man trounces Kalonzo candidate in Kitui Ward by-election

Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua (left) and Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka (right) during the wedding of Robert Kibwana, son of Makueni governor Joseph Kibwana in Nairobi on August 4, 2018. [Edward Kiplimo, Standard]

Wiper party leader, Kalonzo Musyoka’s grip of Ukambani politics has come under fresh scrutiny after the party’s nominee for Mutonguni Ward by-election was trounced by Governor Alfred Mutua’s candidate who vied on Maendeleo Chap Chap ticket.

Provisional results based on actual tallies in all the fifty polling stations in Thursday’s mini poll show that Maendeleo Chap Chap’s Musee Mati won with 2883 against Wiper’s Stephen Kithuka who garnered 2156 votes.

Analysts have termed the mini poll’s outcome as ‘a significant indicator’ of Kalonzo’s diminishing political influence in Ukambani, given the fact that he failed to convince voters to elect his preferred candidate.

Last week in the run-up to the conclusion of the official campaign period that had been set by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), Kalonzo embarked on a two-day intensive campaign for his candidate, Kithuka.

He was accompanied by his party chairman, Chirau Makwere and a battalion of his party loyalists who included Senator Enoch Wambua and MPs Makali Mulu (Kitui Central), Edith Nyenze (Kitui West), Charles Nguna (Mwingi West), Gideon Mulyungi (Mwingi Central), and Julius Mawathe (Embakasi South) .

In their campaigns, the MPs pleaded with voters not to embarrass the former Vice President by rejecting his party nominee.

The move irked rival candidates led by Musee Mati, who accused Kalonzo of engaging in ‘a village contest’ which had no bearing to his presidential ambitions.

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On the other hand, Dr Mutua did not show up in the campaigns as he was out of the country. Instead, he dispatched a team led by his chief of staff, Mwengi Mutuse to campaign for Mati.

On learning about Mati’s win, Dr Mutua sent an early congratulatory message in a strongly worded tweet. “This was not a contest between candidates but the beginning of a new revolution to usher in development based leadership not only in Ukambani region but Kenya as a whole.”

The seat fell vacant after the Court of Appeal nullified the election of former area MCA, Felix Mbevo of Narc party following a bruising election petition which has dragged on for two years.

The petition was triggered after Kitui West constituency Returning Officer, James Mbai erroneously awarded the election certificate to Mbevo.

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Maendeleo Chap ChapMusee MatiStephen KithukaGovernor Alfred MutuaKalonzo Musyoka