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October 20, 2017

Things fall apart for Kalonzo as Wiper aspirants see stars in polls

NASA Coalition principal Kalonzo Musyoka during their Rally at Uhuru Park on April 27, 2017. They unveiled Raila Odinga as their Presidential Candidate and Kalonzo Musyoka as his deputy. Photo/Jack Owuor
NASA Coalition principal Kalonzo Musyoka during their Rally at Uhuru Park on April 27, 2017. They unveiled Raila Odinga as their Presidential Candidate and Kalonzo Musyoka as his deputy. Photo/Jack Owuor


The results of the just-concluded August 8 general election will no doubt force Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka to go back to the  drawing board  as he harbours his ambition  to be President.

Kalonzo has been considered the political kingpin of Ukambani for years, enjoying an almost fanatical following. But the poll results show he could be losing clout.

Wiper has been the dominant party in Ukambani a significant number of governor, MP and MCA candidates defected before and after party nominations citing favouritism.

The defections, especially in Kalonzo’s home turf of Kitui county, spelt doom for him.

Worse still, the  thrashing  of  Wiper  candidates for many  parliamentary  positions shows the dynamics of the politics in Ukambani could be changing  against him.

The loss is a big blow to Kalonzo’s agenda both in Ukambani and in the national spectrum.

One of the embarassing losses was  Wiper candidate and Kitui Governor Julius Malombe’s loss to former Lands CS Charity Ngilu.

And as if that was not bad enough, Malombe came in a distant number three. He was beaten by Senator David Musila who resigned as the Wiper chairman and ran as an independent after claiming the party primaries were not free and fair.

Ngilu got 162,768 votes, Musila 108,635 and Malombe 71,900.

Wiper suffered another  blow in Machakos  county where its governor candidate Wavinya  Ndeti  was  beaten  by incumbent Alfred Mutua.

Kalonzo was keen on winning both the Kitui and Machakos seat and attended many of his candidates’ rallies to drum up support for them.

In Machakos, Kalonzo wanted to teach Mutua a lesson after he ‘betrayed’ him by fraternising with President Uhuru Kenyatta instead of toeing the line and backing the opposition.

On Wednesday, Mutua said the battle for Machakos was not between him and Ndeti, but rather him and Kalonzo. “Ndeti was just a pawn in a grander scheme of things,” he said.

Kalonzo’s losses did not end there. A number of his MPs were also  shown the  door.

The long-serving Kitui rural MP,  Charles Nyamai, lost his seat to David Mboni, of the  rival, but friendly Chama  Cha Uzalendo party.

At the same time, the Wiper party director elections and first-time MP for Kitui East Marcus Maluvi lost his seat to political novice and Jubilee candidate Nimrod Mbai. 

Wiper’s MP for Kangundo in Machakos Kyengo Maweu lost the seat to Muungano Party’s Fabian Muli.

A substantial number of Wiper candidates for the ward representative in Kitui, led by the former majority leader Jacob Maundu of Nuu ward, fell by the wayside. Most lost to independent candidates and those from other smaller parties.

Political pundits associate the loss with voters’ disgruntlement with the  primaries in April. Many aspirants said they were rigged out in favour of unpopular ones.

The contested nominations threatened to tear the party apart.

Musila accused Kalonzo of having an hand  in rigging him out. He said “the loser was declared the winner.”

Musila and Kalonzo hail from Kitui county and their fallout divided supporters.

A chunk of Wiper supporters followed Musila out of the party.

“And the Wiper supporters who did not follow Musila were left disillusioned  and started distrusting the party they hitherto held dear. They  decided  to show  their dissatisfaction with the unfair nominations by voting in candidates from other parties,” a political observer said.

Another school of thought has it  that  some of the Wiper leaders  had  long fallen out with the  electorate  and the latter was only waiting for the election to show them the door.

“Some of the leaders who were voted out, despite being Wiper candidates, were never available to the voters since they were elected in 2013. The voters had got fed up with  them and  would have voted them out regardless of their party allegiance,” an observer said.

Some of the rejected leaders were seen to have failed in their mandate.

Mwingi West MP Bernard Kitumbi, who hardly participated in parliamentary sessions,  was voted out. 

Others voted out were accused of failing to launch meaningful projects.

On Wednesday evening, Ndeti rejected the preliminary poll results.

“We do not know where they are getting the results from and this is causing a lot of anxiety. We are not accepting the results. I am a computer scientist and those numbers don’t make sense,” Ndeti said.

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