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Blow to Kalonzo as Alfred Mutua man Clinches Kitui by-election seat

The Wiper party has lost the Mutonguni Ward by-election in Kitui County to Maendeleo Chap Chap after Musee Mati garnered 2,892 votes to beat Stephen Kithuka, who got 2,147 votes.

Wiper party leader, Kalonzo Musyoka’s grip of Ukambani politics has come under fresh scrutiny after the party’s nominee for Mutonguni Ward by-election was trounced by Governor Alfred Mutua’s candidate who vied on Maendeleo Chap Chap ticket.

Musee Mati of Maendeleo Chap Chap (left) receives the IEBC election certificate for Mutonguni Ward after garnering 2,892 votes to win the by-election held on October 17, 2019.

Provisional results based on actual tallies in all the fifty polling stations in Thursday’s mini poll show that Maendeleo Chap Chap’s Musee Mati won with 2883 against Wiper’s Stephen Kithuka who garnered 2156 votes.

In third place was Independent candidate Jace Kavale with 853 votes, followed by Alex Nzau of Jubilee with 815 votes.

POLITICAL WAR

The by-election on Thursday had narrowed down to a bitter contest between Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka and Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua, with their respective party candidates being fronts in a bigger political war to control the Ukambani region.

Analysts have termed the mini poll’s outcome as ‘a significant indicator’ of Kalonzo’s diminishing political influence in Ukambani, given the fact that he failed to convince voters to elect his preferred candidate.Last week in the run-up to the conclusion of the official campaign period that had been set by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), Kalonzo embarked on a two-day intensive campaign for his candidate, Kithuka.

He was accompanied by his party chairman, Chirau Makwere and a battalion of his party loyalists who included Senator Enoch Wambua and MPs Makali Mulu (Kitui Central), Edith Nyenze (Kitui West), Charles Nguna (Mwingi West), Gideon Mulyungi (Mwingi Central), and Julius Mawathe (Embakasi South) .In their campaigns, the MPs pleaded with voters not to embarrass the former Vice President by rejecting his party nominee.

The move irked rival candidates led by Musee Mati, who accused Kalonzo of engaging in ‘a village contest’ which had no bearing to his presidential ambitions.

On the other hand, Dr Mutua did not show up in the campaigns as he was out of the country. Instead, he dispatched a team led by his chief of staff, Mwengi Mutuse to campaign for Mati.On learning about Mati’s win, Dr Mutua sent an early congratulatory message in a strongly worded tweet.

“This was not a contest between candidates but the beginning of a new revolution to usher in development based leadership not only in Ukambani region but Kenya as a whole.”

The seat fell vacant after the Court of Appeal nullified the election of former area MCA, Felix Mbevo of Narc party following a bruising election petition which has dragged on for two years.

However, Mbevo was locked out of the contest in the selection after he failed to submit his papers on time for clearance.

Only Nine candidates were cleared by the Independent Elections and Boundaries Commission to vie for the seat in the ward which has 16,145 registered voters and 50 polling stations.

The petition was triggered after Kitui West constituency Returning Officer, James Mbai erroneously awarded the election certificate to Mbevo.

The voting process started at 6 am and closed at 5 pm where only a few people came out to vote despite the area having conducive weather.

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Written by Correspondent

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