Kibwana, Mutua seek united front ahead of 2022 contest

Thursday, August 27th, 2020 00:00 |
Lower Eastern governors Kivutha Kibwana (Makueni), Alfred Mutua of Machakos and Charity Ngilu (Kitui) at a past event. Photo/PD/MUTUKU MWANGANGI

Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua and his Makueni counterpart Kivutha Kibwana have resolved to forge a united front ahead of the 2022 presidential election. 

At a meeting held at Mutua’s office in Machakos county on Tuesday, the duo, flanked by Kitui governor Charity Ngilu, the three governors reignited their push to dislodge former vice-president Kalonzo Musyoka as the Ukambani political kingpin.

During the meeting, Mutua was unanimously elected as the chairman of the South Eastern Kenya Economic bloc (SEKEB) to expedite implementation of various proposals including the establishment of a regional bank and poverty eradication measures touching on the three counties.

 Both Mutua and Kibwana have announced their bids for presidency come 2022 and promised to work together during and even after the next elections.  

Mutua has also been hosting delegations from across the country in Machakos with the latest being from Meru, Embu and Baringo counties.

Last week, Mutua met key opinion leaders and elders from Ukambani in Matuu, Machakos county in what appears to be a well calculated effort to form a formidable political network ahead of his presidential campaign launch.

Kibwana’s insiders intimated to People Daily that he would utilise his civil society networks earned during a fight for multiparty democracy. 

A source said that Kibwana’s network that stretches to Harvard University Alumni and legal professionals across the world is working round the clock to form a secretariat to mobilise resources alongside managing the campaigns.   

The source further revealed that Kibwana’s network includes deep pocketed individuals in the civil society who will be in charge of raising campaign funds.

“Kibwana is just ceremonial, there are individuals who are running the entire thing,” a source said.

 The trio’s unity comes at a time of political divisions in the region pitting Kalonzo and his estranged party financier former Machakos senator Johnstone Muthama which forced the latter to seek refuge in deputy president William Ruto’s camp.

 “We have agreed that whatever happens we will be together, we will have one candidate who will be attractive to the entire country and I am ready for that.

If it is Kibwana, I will support him and if it is me, he will support me,” said Mutua.

And Kibwana said there was no contradiction with the duo vying for president since it was a democratic right. “We will agree on one candidate between us at some point and that decision will be made by Kenyans,” said Kibwana.

Ngilu promised to support the two advising them to focus their agenda on the people.

“Let your agenda be the people of Kenya for I know who will not be the president but I don’t know who will,” said Ngilu.

Ngilu appeared to criticise Kalonzo when she spoke of detractors who always criticised their unity.

“When they see us together, they always read politics but I want to challenge them to state their agenda for the people, let them say what they have done before and if nothing they should exit the stage now (to pave way) for a new leadership,” said Ngilu.

  In the new arrangement, Ngilu who has been the lower eastern coordinator for the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) was tasked to liaise with the national government while Kibwana would steer the legal tenets and external partnerships of the bloc that seeks to oversee economic transformation.

 According to a political scientist and a Chama Cha Uzalendo (CCU) secretary general Phillippe Sadjah, the new unity deal would tilt the political equation in the region and the country at large.

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