By Mickey Kitonga jnr
The Iron lady who always was, Call her Charity Kaluki Ngilu a.k.a CKN!!!
So what is her history with Mwingi West Constituency?
That is the big question that no one wants to respond to. Yes, when we talk of political mafias, they’re born and raised in Mwingi West Constituency. For decades, in her political career, Charity Kaluki Ngilu has faced these political Mafias not once not twice!
When in 1997 she declared the “Masaa Ni Ya Ngilu” slogan, only few leaders from Mwingi West formerly Mwingi South stood with her. Those days, the Mwingi South Constituency throne had an undisputable King, it wasn’t fun.
It Would have been expected that CKN being one of the daughters of Ukambani, that all the Ukambani leaders would rally behind her. Especially the current Mwingi West Constituency being her neighboring Constituency.
The area MP then was in KANU, Well, of course I mean the ruler. He wasn’t on Kalukis side, he fought her, he vowed to make sure she never got a single vote from ‘his’ Constituency, it worked.
That was then. CKN was focused, she had seen that what no other Ukambani leader had seen. Before her, all other Ukambani leaders we’re booty lickers, they enjoyed KANU leadership and its fruits to the full. But the truth: They believed in Ngilu, however they chose their stomachs and power, they forgot the people. Sad :(.
Forget 1997, I was young, can’t talk much about it. In 2002, CKN was the power mediator and the mind behind Kibakis presidency. We all do know what she did, yest, sitting all the power hungry leaders together and convincing them for the sake of the common mwananchi. She won, and then they took the government. She helped bring Moi down. She had yearned for this for a very long time.
CKN became the most powerful, influential and the most active health minister of all time. Our guy from Mwingi West the then Mwingi South wasn’t happy, in many ways he fought her. Sad.
She reformed the health sector in a magnitude that we all agree till today we owe her. Remember, she wasn’t an Ukambani minister but a Kenyan minister meant to serve the eight provinces, she did so without forgetting the abandoned lower Eastern Kenya, her home.
A guy who had rose to fame through supporting the then Member of Parliament from Mwingi South became a rebel, the Constituency leadership wasn’t what he expected when he supported the then MP in 1997. So he tried to run against the guy he had supported back in 1997 in 2002, he lost, he had chosen the wrong party.
But his loyalty to CKN never changed, he would at one point invite Kaluki the then Minister for Health at Nzeluni town in Mwingi West Constituency to a medical camp that he and his friends had organized. What happened is a story that until today no one wants to tell.
Still, I was young. But alert enough to know what was going on. When CKN attended the medical camp that was meant to help the people of Mwingi South, now Mwingi West, she was met by a serious confrontation. The then MP stormed the medical camp and even at some point got physical with CKN and Dr. Temi Mutia the event’s organizer. He had not been consulted, he said that was the problem. Wow, interesting.
The feud between Kaluki and the Mwingi south MP worsened, wile we thought it was just politics. It would go further when in 2013 both chose to go for the senatorial seat Kitui county.
This time, CKN chose the wrong party, she lost to the ex MP Mwingi South Constituency now the Mwingi West Constituency. It was a fierce battle. The party politics wave carried the day. Ukambani was opposition, CKN had chosen the government side.
Over the years, although loved in Mwingi, CKN was never able to command the Mwingi South votes. Her detractors would work day and night just to make sure CKN never got something or anything.
CKN has proved to have nine lives like a CAT. She refused to get derailed after the embarrassing loss of senatorial seat in 2013. She did what she had to do, she was appointed a CS by Uhuru’s government, she however didn’t last for long. In 2017, she was in the ring again, this time for a different post. She was not only running against the same guy who had floored her in the 2013 senatorial elections, but also a second opponent, the incumbent Governor.
To make the long story short, CKN carried the day. It was expected. As we speak, she is the Governor Kitui county.
MY WORRY: Given CKN’s experience with Mwingi leaders, I’m just afraid that this could be the payback time for her? Even though CNK has faced serious opposition from Mwingi leaders, she has remained to love the people of Mwingi, we must agree that the people of Mwingi love her right back.
Will the feud she has had with these Leaders affect her will to serve the people of Mwingi without having to be biased? Unlike many other leaders, I have personally known Kaluki to be a servant of the people, an iron lady who never lets anyone stand in her way.
A while back, CKN started by proving to us that she has the concern of Mwingi West Constituency people at heart. This was by appointing to her cabinet Patrick Koki Musau a vocal politician who lost the MP seat to Charles Nguna. Koki is apparently from the same village with the same senior leader who for years has fought CKN by all means. Could this be a light at the end of the tunnel? And if so, is it of an on coming train or is it the illuminating light of the sun? Well, time will tell.
On electing CKN as their Governor, the Kitui county electorates we’re highly expectant. With her as the governor, their hope is much higher, it is my expectation that she’ll no doubt deliver. I believed in her when I barely knew nothing about politics, when her chief campaigner from Mwingi South Constituency came from my village, RIP Munuve a.k.a Lutu.
Given a chance and the necessary support, I am sure Mwingi people will equally benefit from her leadership. Though it is a place full of petty, bureaucratic and dictatorial politics, it’s my hope that this will not derail CKN.
All the best CKN as you serve the people of Mwingi sub County and the entire Kitui County!!!
For more details on the Nzeluni Medical Camp and other stories on CKN, read Dr. Temi Mutia’s book “Grassroots Change-Making in Mwingi”