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Wiper’s Machakos purge could change balance of power

Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka at a past function where he urged party members to unite.

Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka at a past function where he urged party members to unite.

Wiper Democratic Party’s move to expel Machakos County Assembly Majority Leader Joshua Mwonga, along with five nominated MCAs, could complicate matters for Governor Alfred Mutua.

Mr Mwonga has been a loyal supporter of the governor and has so far managed to marshall support against a group of MCAs aligned to Deputy Governor Bernard Kiala and County Senator Johnson Muthama.

Mr Mwonga was sent packing by Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka in a move aimed at instilling discipline in the party.

The Masinga Central MCA, who was elected on a Wiper ticket, fell out with the party hierarchy after he spearheaded a move to impeach the deputy governor early last year.

Mr Kiala was later rescued by the Senate, which overturned the impeachment. Since then the deputy governor has been at loggerheads with Governor Mutua, whom he accuses of orchestrating the move.

Mr Kiala found support in Senator Muthama and together they wooed 20 MCAs to their side in their opposition to Governor Mutua.

IN THE PIPELINE

Last month, the group held a rally at Athi River where they said they would impeach Governor Mutua and replace him with Mr Kiala.

A motion to impeach the governor — which will be tabled by Ndalani Ward MCA Stephen Muthuka — is in the pipeline.

But the governor has in the past two weeks engaged in a charm offensive in the county.

He has held rallies at Wamunyu, Nyaani and Muthetheni trading centres in Mwala Constituency.

The rallies were preceded by one in Machakos town where 52 Members of County Assemblies attended, drawn from Machakos, Makueni and Kitui counties.

The Machakos rally was organised by local MP Victor Munyaka. It became clear that Dr Mutua was not only being defended by leaders from Machakos County but also from the region.

“We have started Operation Defend Development. We will hold regular meetings and go round Ukambani preaching development,” said Dr Munyaka.

MCAs from the three counties present at the rally in Machakos criticised Machakos Senator Muthama and Deputy Governor Kiala for opposing Governor Mutua.

One MCA said Kitui county would be happy to receive Governor Mutua in exchange for Governor Julius Malombe. He said Makueni and Kitui counties should be dissolved and the money given to Governor Mutua to develop the entire region.

Similar sentiments were echoed at rallies in Mwala Constituency, where Kitui Minority Leader Felix Nganga said Dr Mutua was being opposed for showing alternative leadership.

Mr Nganga, from Mwingi sub-county, said Kitui had produced leadership for the Kamba community for the past 40 years and now it was the turn of Machakos to provide leadership.

But all this could be complicated by Wiper’s move to expel Mwonga and team. Dr Mutua has not been very keen on Wiper politics.

Last month he missed out on a leaders’ meeting called by Mr Musyoka at his home in Yatta.

Other governors from the region attended.

There has also been disquiet among MCAs supportive of Dr Mutua.

Eighteen of them issued a statement a week ago asking the governor to sack five chief officers whom they claimed were behind the problems affecting the county.

Dr Mutua has not yet commented on the matter.

The new majority leader in Machakos will be expected to toe the party line and could be instrumental in the impeachment of Governor Mutua.

Other MCAs shown the door are Ndinda Kala, Margaret Ndalana, Jackline Nziva, Ruth Ndumi and Mary Ndinda. All are nominated by Wiper.

Nationmedia

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