KISII MEETING

Is Kivutha Kibwana the new watermelon in BBI?

In Summary

• He has been a close associate of Deputy President William Ruto more than he has been with President Uhuru Kenyatta. 

Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana appears before the Senate Public Accounts Committee to answer audit queries, April 16, 2018. /JACK OWUOR
Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana appears before the Senate Public Accounts Committee to answer audit queries, April 16, 2018. /JACK OWUOR

Kisii Sports Club last week on Friday was host to several dignitaries who turned up to start the national discourse on the Building Bridges Initiative task force report.

 Among the guests were governors from Nyanza region and their counterparts from Lower Eastern- specifically Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu and her Makueni counterpart Kivutha Kibwana.  Ngilu’s presence was expected as she is steadfast and keeps her stand.

It was, however, unusual for Kibwana to be at the meeting and even make a speech purporting to support the BBI report. Unusual for many reasons: Kibwana has not been vocal in supporting the initiative from the start. In fact, he has been a close associate of Deputy President William Ruto more than he has been with President Uhuru Kenyatta.  Is he the “watermelon” in the BBI process or what exactly attracts him to the initiative?

It is not lost on Kenyans that at one point Kibwana was appointed to the Cabinet by President Mwai Kibaki and during that period he abandoned on his colleagues in the civil society where he made a name as a champion of political and economic reforms.  His friends and peers in the NGO world were surprised when he stopped being a crusader of civil liberties and some even later accused him of being the reason why the Bomas Draft constitution was never passed.

And then came 2013 when contested for the position of Governor of Makueni, briefly showing some dalliance with Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka only to abandon him to run on a different political party.

Via email