Governor Kibwana rubbishes Kalonzo’s endorsement

Wiper Democratic Movement leader Kalonzo Musyoka (left) and Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana formalise the latter’s move to Wiper. They were at Wiper offices in Nairobi on February 22, 2017. The governor was a lecturer first before being elected MP for Makeuni Constituency.


By Prof Kivutha Kibwana

During the second Kitui Goat Auction and Cultural Festival in the presence of HE Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka, several legislators including Hon Gedion Mulyungi threatened that any Kambà leader who opposes SKM in his 2022 presidentiàl bid will be crushed politically ( See Sunday Standard, Dec 9, 2018 at p. 12 ).

Apparently this salvo was fired at the three South Eastern governors: Mutua of Chap Chap, Kibwana, and Ngilu of the original NARC. The Kambà legislators during the goat event stated: ‘ the ( Kambà ) community was banking on Kalonzo to ensure it was part of the government after 2022 elections.’

In the same auction meeting, SKM said he had decided to join our President ‘ to boost his fight against corruption, while ensuring a cohesive and peaceful country.’

In a fund raiser on the same 7 Dec 2018 at Mbooni, Makueni County where SKM was also present, another legislator harped on the same narrative.

I wish to raise the following points as a polite rejoinder.

1. Kenya is a democracy. Any person can seek any elective office if he/she so desires and meets the legal requirements. Only in a monarchical system is there no possibility for a designated leader to be opposed. My brother legislators should re-read the Kenya Constitution, 2010 and generally history. Perhaps in the KANU of the 80s, their narrative would have held some sway.

2. In 2013 and 2017 some senior members of the Kamba community begged SKM to work with Uhuru Kenyàtta & William Ruto. For 10 years we hàve been outside the government for no good reason with no senior persons to negotiate for us in the corridors of power. We even came late into the Handshake Coalition behind the NASA leader. What then will guarantee another bad decision is not made for us in 2022?

3. Threats and orchestrated social media abusive language will not secure our collective future as a Mbaa Lili community. Have we asked the community what it wants? May be it is time we had Kitui/Mwingi, Maçhakos, Makueni grassroots level community palavers to seek the opinion of our people about the future they want.

4. The President has focussed our country on the Four Big Agendas of development. To what extent have we as regional political leaders helped the South Eastern people to access holistic national development? Even when we got a chance to visit State House recently, we did not prepare adequately to engage the President in a development dialogue the way the NASA leader is currently doing.

SKM has been in office since 1985, Ngilu since 1992, Kibwana since 2002 & Mutua since 2013. May be it is time for the community to summon us including Muthama to account for our past work and future vision on behalf of our people.

5. Other regions in our country have several persons who have expressed their wish to carry the Presidential flag come 2022. These are for example Rift Valley and Western Kenyà. Among governors, Joho (Hassan) Oparanya Wycliffe), & Mutua (Afred) have categorically stated they will bid for the presidency in 2022. If there are other individuals in South Eastern Kenya alongside SKM who wish to exercise such democratic right, where is the problem? Some people have told me if I want to vie for the presidency I should resign from being chair of WIPER and even from the party itself. Whatever the number of Presidential candidates there are in 2022, Kenyans in and outside the South Eastern region will ultimately decide.

6. Since 2004 when Mzee Mulu Mutisya, the then Patron of the community passed on, SKM has been supported by the community as its de factor Leader ( through KANU, LDP, NARC, the 2005 referendum ORANGE MOVEMENT, ODM-K & now WIPER). Both Mzee Mutisya and the first Patron & freedom fighter Paul Ngei hailed from Maçhakos county. SKM is from Kitui county. It is unfair for our legislators from Kitui county to use abusive language against leaders from the other two counties and indeed any other regional leader. Such warlike language is obviously approved by all our people and it does not unify the community.

We cannot be forced to support a leader. Others have to be grateful we have supported Ngilu’s presidency bid in 1997 and SKM’s in 2007, 2013 & 2017.( Although in the latter two occasions the presidentiàl bids became deputy bids ).

7. The people of Makueni handed me over to SKM from the Muungano Party at his request to help:
(a) unify the community&
(b) negotiate on his behalf on any national platforms.
I added:
(c) champion development for the region with other like minded leaders ( Kambu Declaration).

It has not been easy to achieve these noble goals. ( When it becomes necessary & at an appropriate time, I will respectfully expound on this).

8. The three South Eastern governors wish for a development Handshake with the President. They respect WIPER’s collaboration with JUBILLEE. This does not mean we cannot, as elected governors, have another level of engagement which is beneficial to the community with President Uhuru Kenyatta’s government.

9. We cherish a corrupt free country which is cohesive and peaceful. Indeed the President’s unprecedented fight against corruption is likely to be one of his key legacies. However no country can enjoy cohesion or peace without equitable development. Devolution and the Big Four Agenda are a game changer in Kenya.

10. Let leaders respect other leaders. Those who elect or appoint us expect so. If we don’t internally respect one another, it will not be easy to negotiate with President Kenyatta’s Successor in Central Kenyà, William Ruto, Gedion Moi, Musalia Mudàvadi, Moses Wetàngula, and the other prospective second term governors with a Presidential ambition. Let us always know for electoral contest Kenya is broadly divided into two regions: Eastern & Western. Let us appreciate the leadership field is always open. Only God knows the destiny of each one of us and particularly communities including the MBAA ALILI people.

The author is Makueni Governor


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