Phillip Kaloki’s shift to Nairobi shapes Makueni contest

Top, Governor Kivutha Kibwana, Prof Philip Kaloki (L), Senator Mutula Kilonzo Jnr, Woman Rep Rose Museo, and Kibwezi West MP Patrick Musimba. [File, Standard]

The contest for governor in Makueni County is shaping up into a three-horse race following the exit of the former Kibwezi MP Prof Phillip Kaloki.

Kaloki is said to be eyeing the running mate for Nairobi Jubilee governor candidate businessman, Richard Ngati (Jubilee) who will, however, have to first face off with businesswoman Ann Kagure and Governor Ann Kananu for the party ticket.

His decision seems to have changed Makueni’s political setup ahead of the August 9 polls.

It leaves at least three bigwigs to battle it out for the Makueni top seat, among them, David Masika (real estate business mogul), Mutula Kilonzo Junior (current Makueni senator), and Patrick Mweu Musimba (current Kibwezi West MP).

Among the three, two are under the Azimio la Umoja coalition; Masika (ODM), Mutula Junior (Wiper), and Musimba will vie as an independent candidate.

Musimba has won the Kibwezi West MP seat as an independent candidate in his last two terms.

According to political pundits from the region, Masika might show superior political muscles in the coming polls since he is enjoying the support of ODM party leader, and Azimio la Umoja presidential flagbearer, Raila Odinga.

However, energetic Mutula Jnr stands out to reap from his fame and the respect his late father commanded from the region that still reigns.

“It’s going to be a tough battle if Raila Odinga supports Masika, then Charity Ngilu (Kitui Governor), Dr Alfred Mutua (Machakos) and Kivutha Kibwana (Makueni Governor) throw their weight behind him. With their blessings, he might be better placed but he must work hard to uproot Kilonzo Junior and the generous Musimba who are also sellable,” said Dr. Brian Mutie, a city lawyer and governance, law, and democracy scholar who hails from Kaiti Constituency

The valuer turned politician believes in continuing from where his predecessor stops and might possibly be a one-term governor hence not greedy for hanging on power, “Kibwana has already cleared the bushes and started the foundation, what I need is only 5-years to reinforce the foundation and start building the walls of the County and leave it for others to continue,”

On the other hand, Kilonzo Jnr, who has been at the forefront to fight for more funds into Counties is taking advantage of the majority of the youthful voters in the region, and having been elected twice without much competition which has made him popular in the County.

“You elected me to bang on tables in the senate for more funds to trickle down to counties; I have done so, and this time round I want to be your governor,” Kilonzo Jnr says.