Kivutha Kibwana ditches Wiper to vie for presidency on Muungano Party

Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana addressing delegates at Muungano Party offices, in Wote, Makueni County on Monday, August, 30, 2021 [Courtesy]

Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana's fall-out with Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka has seen him rejoin his former political outfit Muungano Party.

Prof Kibwana was set to face disciplinary action following differences with the Wiper leader.

On Monday Muungano Party endorsed the governor as the flag bearer.

“The governor was on a loan to Wiper and now we have officially taken him back. He is now free to walk in other regions and talk to other like-minded leaders to form the 2022 government,”  Muungano party chairman, Titus Muunda said in Wote.

Kibwana welcomed Muungano Party’s endorsement saying: "In the 1990’s I led a push for constitutional change that included: religious leaders, the opposition those days lead by the former president Mwai Kibaki, Keneth Matiba and ODM leader Raila Odinga, civil society groups, youth and women, and groups of underprivileged and so I know what hails Kenya.”

The governor, a constitutional lawyer who was part of the team that drafted the 2010 Constitution boasts of experience in leadership having served in various positions in government.

“I have been a minister in government under Kibaki and seen how the government can be developed. For 17 months, I was a minister in two ministries; Land and Environment. For five years I was an advisor to President Kibaki and learned how to be a better president and therefore I have that experience,” he said

Kibwana who would later launched his presidential bid in Nairobi, said for the 10 years he served as the Makueni governor, the county has gained a good reputation using the public participation model where projects are people driven something that he believes can be replicated nationally.

“I am completing 10 years as governor of Makueni. We have made a lot of progress and gained a reputation for our in Makueni. All we have done in Makueni can be done in Kenya. I respect citizens and now we are leading on their behalf and the Constitution says they are the ones in authority," he said.

The governor said Kenyans needs leadership that will transform the country by fighting corruption, reviving the economy and creating job opportunities and promised to abide by the Constitution of Kenya if elected president.

Muungano party has launched mass recruitment of members across the country.

“We will ensure we register as many members as possible, that is why we are having a mass recruitment launch here,” said Mwaniki Muoki, the party Secretary-General.

The governor joined the Kalonzo led Wiper party ahead of the 2017 General Election where he became the chairman.

The genesis of the leaders' rivalry stemmed from Kalonzo's remarks during the burial of the governor's father that he would become the President’s “mtu wa mkono.”

The Wiper leader was accused of lacking good will for the entire community when he said he should not be questioned over his utterances.

The governor would later be removed as the party’s chairperson and the position given to former Cabinet minister Chirau Ali Mwakwere.

The governor snubbed Wiper officials summons for disciplinary action over his failure to pay party subscriptions.

Kibwana maintained that Wiper failed to follow a Memorandum of Understanding entered with Muungano Party ahead of the merger in 2017.

He was elected on Muungano party ticket in 2013 as the first governor of Makueni county after trouncing Wiper's Prof Phillip Kaloki.

He pulled a surprise in a region perceived to be a Wiper stronghold and defeated two other aspirants.