Edith Vethi, the widow of former Kitui West MP Francis Nyenze, has formally joined the race for the parliamentary post.
She paid Sh200,000 nomination fee to Wiper Democratic Movement on Tuesday as well as Sh50,000 life membership fee.
On Wednesday, Kitui Senator Enoch Wambua, who acted as the Nyenze family spokesperson during the funeral arrangements, said Vethi had been cleared to run for office.
Edith will go up against Maluki Kitili, son of former Cabinet minister Nyiva Mwendwa, for the Wiper ticket, setting the stage for an epic battle between the two families.
Maluki’s father, the late Kitili Mwendwa and his mother have formerly held the Kitui West MP position.
Nyenze was a close ally of Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka, while Nyiva has always stood with Kalonzo during political storms. The well-heeled Nyiva has been a Wiper benefactor for years.
In a public notice yesterday Wambua indicated that Vethi will formally launch her bid during a rally at Kabati trading centre, a stone’s throw from the Nyenze home.
“Mama Edith Vethi will be launching her bid for the Kitui West parliamentary seat. She is seeking the Wiper ticket for her bid to complete the good work her late husband started,” he said.
She will be accompanied by Nasa leaders from the Lower Eastern region.
The proposal for Vethi to succeed Nyenze was floated during the burial in Kyondoni village, Kauwi ward. Kauwi MCA Jane Mutua said Edith is best placed to take over from her husband.
But Felix Mbevo of Mutonguni ward and Munyallo Kitheka of Matinyanitwo opposed the proposal, saying residents had not been consulted.
Nyenze, 60, died on December 6 after a long battle with colon cancer, which caused his lungs to weaken and he caught pneumonia during the campaigns for the August 8 election.
An ally of former President Daniel Moi, Nyenze served as Environment minister and Minister for Heritage and Sports in 2001. He was buried on December 19.