BOTH MEN WANT TO BE PRESIDENT

Kalonzo to divorce Kibwana in parties split

Last week, Kibwana asked Kalonzo to shelve his presidential bid and support him instead

In Summary

• One-year coalition agreement lapsed. Wiper will advise Registrar of Political parties, that there is no relationship between Wiper and Muungano.

• This will mean the leadership of certain cMakueni committees will be reorganised since initially Muungano and Wiper shared the committee leadership in negotiated democracy.

Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana and Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka confer during Wiper Party members meeting at Panari Hotel in Nairobi on January 17, 2018.
HAPPIER DAYS: Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana and Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka confer during Wiper Party members meeting at Panari Hotel in Nairobi on January 17, 2018.
Image: JACK OWUOR

The Wiper Democratic Movement Party will officially sever its expired 2017 pre-election coalition pact with Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana’s Muungano Party.

Speaking after a leaders’ meeting at Makindu on Monday night, Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka said the agreement had ended.

“The coalition agreement was made for one year and it has lapsed,” he said.

Wiper will write to the Registrar of Political Parties to advise her that “there is now no political relationship between Wiper and Muungano,” Kalonzo said.

He said the separation was in good faith. “I do not want you to read politics in it because the reality on the ground is that the agreement has lapsed,” he said.

Governor Kibwana has lately been working closely with his Machakos counterpart Alfred Mutua and Kitui boss Charity Ngilu.

Mutua has declared he wants to run for President in 2022. Kalonzo also wants to run.

Kalonzo said parting with Kibwana is part of reorganising the Wiper Party and strengthening it ahead of 2022.

“Wiper is a national party and our mission in the few years to the next election is to grow it all over the country. Our aim is to take over the leadership of this country come 2022,” Kalonzo said.

Speaking to the Star on the phone yesterday, Makueni MP Daniel Maanzo, who also attended the Monday meeting, said the move will affect the Makueni county assembly leadership.

He said the Wiper Party will now become the Majority in the House, while Muungano remains the Minority party.

“It will mean that leadership of certain committees will be reorganised again since initially Muungano and Wiper shared the committee leadership as part of their negotiated democracy,” Maanzo said.

The Wiper leadership denies the divorce is political, but its timing suggests otherwise. Kibwana has been feuding with the Wiper party boss.  Last week, he asked Kalonzo to shelve his presidential bid and support him instead.

“Some people have sought this seat several times in vain, and Kalonzo is one of them,” Kiwana said while launching water projects in Kilili on Thursday.

“Machakos Governor (Alfred) Mutua and I are trying for the first time and we are asking Kalonzo to support us. Maybe for us it will be a win,” he said.

Kibwana said he and Governor Mutua had the right to run for president and urged the community to support him. But at a burial in Makindu on Monday, Kalonzo tactfully poured cold water on Kibwana’s sentiments.

In a carefully worded speech, Kalonzo applauded one Kibwana’s political adviser Kevin Kinengo for having been a good students’ president at university. He said, “Kuna watu nasikia wakisema wanataka kuwa ma president, you can be a president like Kinengo.”

This threw the mourners into a fit of laughter. But why would Wiper divorce Muungano only to reorganise the assembly leadership?

Recently, Kibwana has been seen to have command of the assembly despite most MCAs having been elected on the Wiper ticket.

It’s said that through speaker Douglas Mbilu, Kibwana has made sure that all the crucial committees are headed by his men.

So the Wiper Party may have decided it should bring on board a loyal team to check Kibwana.