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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Malombe, Musila rivalry over governor seat divides MCAs

Kitui Senator David Musila /MUSEMBI NZENGU
Kitui Senator David Musila /MUSEMBI NZENGU

The row between Kitui Governor Julius Malombe and Senator David Musila on who get the Wiper ticket to vie for governor has split the assembly down the middle. Musila is Wiper chairman.

Two faction of MCAs have emerged. One supports Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka's view that each of the two leaders defend their current positions on August 8.

MCAs supporting Malombe are led by assembly majority leader Jacob Maundu, while Musila’s backers are led by Mwendwa Kithuka, who represents Mutonguni ward.

Maundu's team wants Musila to heed Kalonzo’s advice and quit the governor's race. But the MCAs allied to Musila accuse Kalonzo of interfering with the governor's seat.

During a press conference in Kitui town last week, Kithuka’s group threatened to campaign against Kalonzo’s presidential bid for taking sides with Malombe. The group said his meddling in the governor's seat is unacceptable and unpalatable.

The leaders hit out at the Maundu-led faction for urging Musila to heed to Kalonzo' advice and shelve his ambition in favour of Mlaombe. They said their colleagues' stand is misplaced as Kalonzo has denied asking Musila to contest for senator.

''Leaders should refrain from fuelling a rift in Wiper by creating the impression that Kalonzo is supporting Malombe," Kithuka said.

He said Kalonzo has denied that he endorsed Malombe.

At an earlier press conference, Maundu's group demanded an apology from sMusila for "disrespecting" the Wiper party leader and trying to ridicule his presidential bid by overtly rejecting his advice.

In a statement read out by Ngomeni MCA Nzungi Ngwele, the group said as Wiper leader and Ukambani political Kingpin, Kalonzo has the right to advise on any matter, including the governor's seat. They said Kalonzo wanted to pre-empt a harmful rift within Wiper.

During a tour of Kitui county late last week, Kalonzo said it was his prayer and wish that Musila and Malombe defendtheir current positions.

He said the two were the Wiper party strongmen and he would be happy to enjoy Musila’s backing in Nairobi ( at the Senate) and Malombe’s backing at the home front as the governor of Kitui. He said he would continue holding talks with the two leaders prevail on then to buy into his view.

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