Amani National Congress party leader Musalia Mudavadi is in talks with Makueni governor Kivutha Kibwana for a political deal with his Muungano party. The governor who is serving his final term has hinted on contesting for the presidency come next general election and is busy wooing partners after severing links with Wiper party.
Wiper party where he had served as national chairman before falling out with Kalonzo Musyoka replaced him with Chirau Mwakwere last month.
His differences with Kalonzo who controls Kamba politics has exposed the law don who is now fighting for political survival in the region dominated by Wiper party. Kibwana who recently hosted Musalia at his county office in Makueni is a fierce critic of Kalonzo joining Governor Alfred Mutua of Machakos and Charity Ngilu of Kitui.
The trio formed and backed the South Eastern Economic Block which they fashioned was aimed at improving the living standards of Kambas by championing economic development. However, the movement did not last three months after it turned out they were using the forum to discredit Kalonzo in Kamba politics. The three governors held rallies in both Kitui and Machakos county to popularise the movement, the same way it did happen in Makueni county after the outfit was rocked by power struggles pitting Mutua and Kibwana.
Mutua and Kibwana are nursing presidential ambitions and each expected endorsement from the other.Mutua later isolated Kibwana and held secret talks with both Gedion Moi and Raila Odinga were they discussed a possible deal with his Maendeleo Chap Chap party.
Kibwana on his side was in talks with William Ruto where the second in command tasked him in spearheading his forays in Ukambani. However, the governor is not comfortable with Ruto lieutenants in Ukambani whom he accuses of doing little for the DP in the region.
The Ruto brigade in Ukambani include MPs Victor Munyaka, Machakos Town, Vincent Musyoka, Mwala, Fabian Kyule, Kangundo and Rachel Nyamai of Kitui South. The MPs have no time for Kibwana whom they claim is a newcomer in Ruto circles but wants to dictate and control the DP. However, those following Ruto politics say he settled on Kibwana after realising that the MPs were interested on his weekly handouts and doing nothing to promote his presidential bid in the region.
DP insiders say the MPs only praise him while he tours the region in order to milk money from him but go mum the moment his chopper takes to the air.
The fear amongst the MPs is that coming out to openly campaign for Ruto might get a backlash from voters who are still loyal to Kalonzo and eventually lose their seats and hence the need to strike a balance.
In courting Kibwana to his side, Ruto is aware that the county boss is more experienced than the MPs and a vital person to check Kalonzo in the region. However political pundits say his influence in Kamba politics is of no consequence and will add no value to Ruto camp since Kambas are still firmly behind Kalonzo and Wiper party. The infighting in Ruto camp pitting MPs loyal to him on one hand and Governor Kibwana has forced him now to reach out to Mudavadi for a deal. The governor is aware that Ruto Kamba MPs are against his current schemes and are out to finish him by leading a smear campaign against him and is now working on the Amani leader as fallback plan.
The governor who is now reviving his Muungano party has set his eyes in controlling the hapennings in Makueni were he wants to influence the politics in 2022 and have a say on his succession. On his side he has roped in the county senator Mutula Kilonzo who is not in good terms with Wiper over his stand on Kalonzo-Kibwana feuds. The senator is blamed for not checking the governor and remaining quiet when his party leader is under attack from the governor despite holding a senior party position. He is now banking on Kibwana to endorse him for the governors position.The seat has also attracted MP Patrick Musimba and county women rep Rose Museo. Both Musimba and Museo are now very close to Kalonzo. Makueni MP Daniel Maanzo who has declared interest for the senatorial seat has now come out as Kibwana’s fiercest critic with their wars likely to boil over to 2022. Former Kibwezi MP Philip Kaloki has also joined Kalonzo camp but he is yet to go public on the seat he is eyeing in the next elections.However those close to him say he is keen on a county seat.
The governors fallout with Kalonzo has dented his popularity in Makueni with now leaders coming out to attack him for using Wiper as a reelection vehicle and later show disrespect for the party that gave him a direct ticket against the wishes of party member