Wiper stares defeat at Mutonguni by-elections

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Wiper party is staring at an embarrassing defeat in Mutonguni ward by election slated for Thursday, if the happenings of the last campaign days are anything to go by.

Panic gripped the party ranks as early as last week after internal polls showed Wiper candidate Stephen Kithuka was trailing Eng Musee Mati of Maendeleo Chap Chap, prompting party leader Kalonzo Musyoka to defer a scheduled trip to Mozambique and dedicate a day campaigning in the ward.

Kalonzo accompanied by Zipapa Chirau Mwakwere and seven Wiper MPs spend Saturday combing the ward and asking voters to reject the MCC candidate to avoid embarrassing him. He later left for Maputo on Monday to observe elections.

The Mutonguni by-election has shaped into a bitter fight between Kalonzo and Machakos Governor Dr Alfred Mutua, with their party candidates being pawns in a wider political war to control Ukambani region.

After the whirlwind Saturday campaign, MPs Makali and CNN Nguna were heard separately lamenting that winning the seat was no longer practical despite the heavy campaign.

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The MPs say it was wrong for Kitui senator Kiio Wambua to misadvise Kalonzo to campaign for MCA seat in his home county because
“We have blundered to bring Kalonzo here. If we lose it will be shameful because and critics will bash us Munene as out touch with reality on his home ground” Makali quipped after Tulia rally.

The two think the party should have prepared well and conducted nominations to pick a more popular nominee instead of handpicking Kithuka who was beaten hands down by Mati in 2017.

Kithuka served two terms as councilor but his stint as MCA was scandal ridden. He lost elections over accusations of being rude to voters and abandoning his wife and kids in favor of another woman who later conned him three probox cars.

Since immersing himself in what media has described as a village fight, Kalonzo has been bashed on social media as stooping too low. Critics say whatever the outcome he’ll come out bruised politically.

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The panic in Wiper is palpable because the man who is likely to beat their candidate is from Maendeleo Chap Chap which has been a thorn in their flesh. A wiper lady operative called Nzambi Vundi alias Wamisanzi was busted buying votes at Sh500 at Kitamwiki market, hoping to shrink Mati numbers.

Kitui west is home to Kiio and his sister Edith Nyenze who is area MP. The two should have planned properly to deliver the seat without involving Kalonzo.

What made matters worse is admission by Kalonzo that a victory for MCC candidate would not only embarrass him but also affect his image and ability to consolidate Kamba vote.

Mutua has perfectly postioned himself to benefit from Kalonzo blunders and has kept away from Mutonguni, so even if Mati loses, he’ll have the bragging rights that Wiper had to use all their political arsenal to win a Ka-MCA seat in Kitui.

In 2017, Mati won with 3,330 votes against Baridi Mbevo 3,319. Kithuka was distant third with 2378 votes.

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