The victory by Maendeleo Chap Chap (MCC) party against Wiper in Thursday’s by-election in Kitui seems to confirm that small parties in Ukambani region are regrouping to claim their fair share in the Wiper dominated region.
Although the Mutonguni ward by-election looked like a small village affair, the victory by Musee Mati of MCC against Stephen Kithuka of Wiper has caused a lot of excitement, especially among Kalonzo Musyoka’s opponents.
Mr Mati trounced the Wiper candidate by garnering 2,892 votes against Kithuka’s 2,147 votes.
While Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu has been subtle in her celebrations, her colleagues from the region Alfred Mutua (Machakos) and Kivutha Kibwana (Makueni) have come out strongly to sound a death knell for the Kalonzo led Wiper party.
When it appeared Mati was headed for a clear win against Wiper, Ngilu placed a call to the MCA-elect and poured her congratulations to him. Immediately his candidate was announced the winner, Mutua -- who is the MCC party leader -- said his party’s victory was a confirmation of his assertions that the Kamba community was getting fatigued with the old style of politics and was yearning for youthful leadership.
“This was not a contest between candidates but the beginning of a new revolution to usher in development based leadership. Congrats Mutonguni voters for choosing the future and progress,” Mutua said.
Mutua has been vocal that Kalonzo should take a back seat and pave way for a young crop of leaders to drive the development agenda of the Ukambani region.
MCC Secretary General Stephen Kilonzo said the party was gaining traction in the region and across the country because of its policies of accelerated development.
“The Wiper euphoria is dying and Kalonzo should understand that it is now time to accommodate other leaders. Our game plan is to field candidates for all positions in the country, starting with the presidency,” Kilonzo said in Kitui town on Friday.
Mati’s victory presented MCC with a perfect window to raid Kitui and the entire Ukambani region and fracture the Wiper hold, he said.
While congratulating the MCA-elect, Kibwana said time was now ripe for the Kamba community to think outside the Wiper party and embrace ideals and policies of other leaders who are likely to push for development in the region.
Kibwana, who has retreated back to his Muungano party after severing ties with Wiper, said together with governors Mutua and Ngilu of Narc, they were strengthening their respective parties to take on Wiper in the 2022 elections.
In Mutonguni, the three governors seemed to have crafted a ‘gentleman’s agreement’ to support the MCC candidate. Ngilu’s Narc did not field a candidate to reclaim the seat which it held before its former MCA Baridi Mbevo was ousted in a successful petition by Mati.
“The victory by MCC clearly shows Wiper is no longer the dominant party in Ukambani. It also shows the region is now an open ground and anybody with good ideas and policies is welcome,” Kibwana said.
He said in 2022, the three governors will mount a serious campaign and lobby the community to align itself with only “development conscious leaders” and not just party euphoria.
“It will never again be about this is the party that belongs to Kambas or this is the community leader. When you see Wiper being rejected in Mutonguni when its leader was there to campaign for his candidate, it tells you people are fatigued by his style of leadership,” Kibwana said.
Since the by-election, the Wiper leadership seems to have retreated to lick its wounds and is tight-lipped on the loss. Only Kitui Senator Enoch Wambua has aired his views by way of congratulating the winner, a clear signal that Wiper has conceded defeat.
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