Makueni voters reject MCAs discredited by Kivutha Kibwana

Wednesday August 9 2017

Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana (right)

Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana (right) gestures while addressing a rally at Makindu Town on July 13, 2017. PHOTO |PIUS MAUNDU | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By PIUS MAUNDU
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Historical differences between the Assembly and the Executive in Makueni County has haunted all the 30 elected ward representatives except one in the just concluded General Election.

Out of the 30 ward representatives elected in the county, only one, Francis Mutungi of Kathonzweni Ward, made it back, according to early results of the polls.

The antagonism between the two arms of the local government was mainly over persistent budgeting rows.

DIFFERENCES

The differences peaked in 2014 when local leaders met the MCAs in what was believed to be a plot to impeach Governor Kivutha Kibwana.

The meeting culminated in a gun drama that saw six people, among them Prof Kibwana's aides, injured.

A section of area residents petitioned President Uhuru Kenyatta to suspend the county government, and the President set up a commission to inquire into the grievances raised in the petition.

Although the commission reported enough grounds to suspend the county government, President Kenyatta spared the county.

However, bad blood continued between Prof Kibwana and the Ward Representatives.

Whenever an opportunity presented itself, Prof Kibwana campaigned against the MCAs whom he accused for the slow pace of development in the county.

BEATEN

Among the big losers is Francis Mutuku (Kilili/Kalamba Ward) who was the Majority Leader in the troubled Assembly.

Mr Mutuku,  who had decamped to little known New Democrats Party, was beaten 4, 047 votes to 5,005 by Julius Mutula, a former county commissioner who was seen by scores as a pet project of Governor Kibwana.

Another big victim is Bernard Musau (Makindu Ward) who was the deputy speaker in the previous regime and who was beaten by Alfred Kituku, the former head of protocol in Prof Kibwana's administration.

Also caught in the crosshairs is John Mwenze (Nguumo Ward),  the former Assembly Minority Leader of Muungano Party who lost to Alfred Mutuku, a trader who ran on a Wiper ticket.