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Philip Kaloki loses, yet again, but in speaker's race

Former Kibwezi MP Philip Kaloki. [Samson Wire, Standard]

Former Kibwezi MP and Polycarp Igathe’s running mate in Nairobi governorship contest in the last month’s general election, Prof Philip Kaloki has lost another political race.

Kaloki narrowly lost to the incumbent Makueni speaker, Douglas Mbilu in a hotly contested race.

In the first round, the secret ballot voting pitting 47 members of the county assembly failed to capture a winner where Mbilu got 25 votes against Kaloki’s 22.

The assembly would normally comprise 48 members but one Wiper nominated MCA, Janet Kioko died a month ago.

The Assembly Clerk, Ken Mutuku, who presided over the voting ordered a second round of voting after none of the two top contestants failed to garner a two-thirds majority.

“The standing orders call for the winner to garner 2/3 majority failure to which there is a repeat of the polls and whoever gets simple majority is declared the winner,” explained Mutuku before a repeat poll.

In the repeat election, Mbilu managed an additional one vote, to clinch the seat with 26 votes against Kaloki’s 21.

In his acceptance speech, Mbilu promised a good working relationship with all the ward representatives.

“We will work well with the executive, and the legislature to foster development,” said Mbilu.

Governor Mutula Kilonzo Junior, who was pro-Mbilu said they will put hands together for the good of the people. The priority when the assembly resumes sittings will be the passing of a supplementary budget to buy food to cushion locals from drought, and looming famine.

This has been seen as a major political setback for Kaloki having lost in various contests in the past years.

In 2013, Kaloki vied for Makueni gubernatorial seat riding on Wiper party but was defeated by Prof Kivutha Kibwana who rode on Muungano party.

Following the death of Mutula Kilonzo Snr. in 2013, Kaloki unsuccessfully vied for the senate seat losing to Mutula Kilonzo’s son, Mutula Kilonzo Junior who was 38 years-old by then.

Prof Phillip Kaloki addresses media during Nairobi gubernatorial campaigns. Polycarp Igathe (left). [ Elvis Ogina, Standard]

After losing toKilonzo junior, Kaloki went back to drawing board, and in 2017, he vied for the Kibwezi East parliamentary seat on a Jubilee ticket only to lose to Jesicah Mbalu.

President Uhuru Kenyatta then appointed him as the chairman of the Kenya Medical Training Colleges (KMTC).

Ironically, with the chairmanship Makueni Conty benefited immensely with certain quarters viewing him the automatic successor of Prof Kibwana.

Ahead of the August 9 polls, Kaloki quit the chairmanship position for Makueni Governorship quest. However, just few months to the August, Kaloki was convinced by Wiper boss Kalonzo Musyoka to quit the race in favour of Mutula Kilonzo Jnr.

He went into the election as running mate of Polycarp Igathe in the Nairobi Governorship race.

They consequently lost to UDA’s Johnson Sakaja.

Political pundits from Makueni argue that the failure by Kaloki to clinch the speaker seat is disastrous in his political future.

“This loss is disastrous in his political path. He has failed in all seats he has tried since 2007 when he was elected as a one term MP for the larger Kibwezi,” says Urbanus Mutinda

According to Mutinsa, Kaloki should learn from the past and disassociate himself from Kalonzo Musyoka who had him running alongside Igathe vying in Nairobi and subsequently failed to throw his weight behind him in the Makueni speaker race.

“He should learn from this. He had placed all his hopes in the hands of the Wiper leader but the results have been mirrored in today’s race. Kaloki once defied Kalonzo and worked with Jubilee, and other Wiper rivals before and after the 2017 polls and that is why his political ship has been staggering since then,” he added.

 Days into Wednesday’s contest, the Wiper leader met all his Wiper-affiliated MCAs from Ukambani and gave instructions.

“He is a good man but he must learn to get good advisors” added Mutinda.