Friday, June 21, 2013

Wiper picks Kethi for Makueni seat

Wiper Democratic Movement and other Cord partners are preparing to unveil Ms Kethi Kilonzo next week before rolling out a marathon campaign to ensure she rides to victory on the July 22 by-election. Photo/FILE

Wiper Democratic Movement and other Cord partners are preparing to unveil Ms Kethi Kilonzo next week before rolling out a marathon campaign to ensure she rides to victory on the July 22 by-election. Photo/FILE  Nation Media Group

By ISAAC ONGIRI iongiri@ke.nationmedia.com

Former Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka has said the daughter of the late Mutula Kilonzo will contest the Makueni Senate seat on a Wiper party ticket.

The Saturday Nation also established that Wiper Democratic Movement and other Cord partners are preparing to unveil Ms Kethi Kilonzo next week before rolling out a marathon campaign to ensure the attorney who rose to fame during the Presidential election petition rides to victory on the July 22 by-election.

“Ms Kilonzo will be vying for the Makueni Senate seat under Wiper Democratic Movement and will be presenting her papers on June 26 as per the law,” said the former VP.

Mr Kalonzo was speaking in Machakos Town where he paid a courtesy call on Governor Alfred Mutua.

This was the first time the former VP was coming out clearly on the Makueni by-elections also expected to provide an opportunity for the Jubilee government that lost out in Ukambani to fight back.

Ms Kethi, whose position on the matter has been unclear after her step-mother attempted to enter the contest has been quiet despite pressure to run.

Wiper chairman David Musila told Saturday Nation that the party has planned a big event on Monday to be attended by ODM and Ford-Kenya leaders where the Cord candidate will be unveiled.

“We are going to unveil our candidate on Monday. We are not going to release details but on Monday the people of Makueni will know the Wiper candidate. Leaders from WDM, ODM and Ford-Kenya will be there,” said Senator Musila.

But Makueni MP Daniel Maanzo, a close confidant of Mr Kalonzo, revealed that the entire Cord leadership is working together in planning for the by-elections adding that the late Mutula’s daughter would be Wiper’s sole candidate in the race.

“We have done everything including paper work that is necessary for her to contest. All we are waiting for is the official unveiling of Kethi’s candidature by Cord leaders,” Mr Maanzo said.

He dismissed claims that Ms Kilonzo risked being locked out because she had not declared her candidature by the time the IEBC deadline lapsed insisting that all legal requirements had been met.

Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga who has been on a tour of the US is expected back on Sunday to meet other Cord leaders to strategise on the Makueni by-elections.

Other candidates

Others who were expected to run on a Wiper ticket are former provincial commissioner Wilfred Ndolo and Major (rtd) Jones Mutwii.

The new Narc leader, Mr Kiema Kilonzo, also said that the Jubilee coalition had identified a potential candidate whose name would be made public next week.

“As the ruling coalition we have agreed to sponsor only one candidate through Narc. All other partner parties will not field candidates,” he said.

Former Kibwezi MP Philip Kaloki is expected to be the Narc candidate but it is unclear whether Pick leader Harun Mwau will vie.

Area IEBC coordinator Ruth Kulundu said preparations were on for the first by-election after the poll.

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