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Rivalry plays out in election

By Stephen Nzioka | March 2nd 2021

As campaigns for the Kithuki/Kitise ward by-election enter the last day today, the little-known area in Makueni County is attracting national attention as Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka (pictured) and Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana battle for supremacy.

Kibwana threw his weight behind Muungano candidate Joseph Kioko two weeks ago after a Makueni court cleared him to vie for the seat. Wiper party had moved to court to bar Kioko from contesting on grounds that the electoral agency had cleared him unprocedurally.

Since then, the mini-poll has narrowed to a two-horse race pitting Kioko against Wiper candidate Sebastian Muli.

On Sunday, the two top leaders attended church services at Kitise market. Kibwana was at African Inland Church (AIC) while Kalonzo attended a Catholic mass a few metres away.

The presence of the two at the market centre was not without drama, as a near confrontation occurred causing church attendees to scamper in fear. “Since I started doing campaigns, I have never seen so many police officers in Kitise, but because Kalonzo is afraid of losing in the polls, he has opted to use police officers and the administration to intimidate us,“ said Kibwana.

Later Kibwana and Kalonzo traversed the region drumming up support for their candidates.

Addressing a rally at Kitise market, Kalonzo said his win for both the Machakos senatorial seat and that of Kitise will be a litmus test for his 2022 presidential bid.

Kitise/Kithuki ward seat was declared vacant after the former MCA Ken Mutuku resigned and became the Makueni Assembly clerk. 

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