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Political temperature rises in Machakos amid poll petition

Saturday November 10 2018

Wavinya Ndeti and Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua.

Ms Wavinya Ndeti (left) and Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua. FILE PHOTOS | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

STEPHEN MUTHINI
By STEPHEN MUTHINI
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One year after the General Election, Machakos County residents are still in a campaign mode after a drawn out petition pitting governor Alfred Mutua against his main challenger Wavinya Ndeti of Wiper party.

In the latest leg of the case, Dr Mutua of Maendeleo Chap Chap has asked the Supreme Court to find that the nullification of his election by the Court of Appeal has no merit.

The Supreme Court completed hearing the case in September, promising to give its verdict on notice, keeping residents anxious and sending leaders to the drawing board just in case there is a repeat election.

Every weekend ushers in heightened political debates at funerals and in churches.

Former Machakos Senator Johnson Muthama has been the most vocal, saying he would only support Ms Ndeti only if she drops Mr Peter Mathuki, a former East African Legislative Assembly MP, as her running mate.

Mr Muthama, also a member of Wiper, comes from Masinga constituency and so does Mr Mathuki and Machakos Senator Boniface Kabaka. In Mr Muthama’s view, Ms Ndeti should pick a running mate from outside Masinga for regional balance.

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The politician has said he will support Dr Mutua or join the race. Mr Muthama’s condition does not have the party’s backing with Wiper Organising Secretary and Kathiani MP Robert Mbui ruling out the possibility of replacing Mr Mathuki.

Last week at a church service in Tala, Mr Muthama renewed his determination to send Dr Mutua packing by calling on the ward representatives to impeach him. "The MCAs should stop complaining about Mutua. They should file a motion to impeach him," said Mr Muthama.

Dr Mutua on the other hand was all smiles on Wednesday when a case against him over irregular procurement of 16 government vehicles in 2013 was dropped by the Director of Public Prosecutions. Dr Mutua said the case was terminated for lack of merit. "My political detractors are still fighting me, but they should know that the knives they are sharpening to finish me will be turned against them," he said.

Dr Mutua's claimed that MCAs were being influenced by “external forces” to sabotage him came soon after 43 MCAs paid a visit to Deputy President William Ruto at Harambee House in Nairobi two weeks ago.

 The Wiper and Jubilee party members attended the meeting organised by Machakos Town MP Victor Munyaka leaving behind only 16 MCAs allied to Dr Mutua's Maendeleo Chap Chap Party. The assembly has 59 members.