In Summary
  • Mr Muthama did not defend his Machakos Senate seat and it is not clear how he will participate actively in politics outside the House.

  • Only Prof Kivutha Kibwana (Makueni), who defected to the party, and Mr Granton Samboja (Taita-Taveta), got elected on Wiper.

  • Mrs Ngilu weathered great resistance from Mr Musyoka to beat his candidate, Dr Malombe.

Election results for governor, national and county assembly seats across the Ukambani region are pointing to a gradual shift of power and diminishing influence of the dominant Wiper party.

Although all Wiper MPs who defected to Jubilee lost their parliamentary seats, the party, which is led by Nasa presidential running mate Kalonzo Musyoka, won fewer seats in both national and county assemblies than in the 2013 General Election.

More significantly, several senior leaders who have been key pillars of the Wiper party — including Mrs Nyiva Mwendwa, Mr David Musila and Mr Johnson Muthama — are standing on a cliff and have already started exiting the political stage due to age.

Mrs Mwendwa has already quit elective politics while Mr Musila, who resigned as Wiper party chairman in April, conceded defeat after losing in the Kitui governor race, a pointer he may also retire.

MUTHAMA

Mr Muthama did not defend his Machakos Senate seat and it is not clear how he will participate actively in politics outside the House.

In 2013, Mr Musyoka, who was ODM leader Raila Odinga’s running mate, lost the presidential election but his party secured four governor and five Senate seats. It also won 24 National Assembly seats, including those for woman representatives.

However, in the just-ended election, the party lost all the four governor seats it held, including that of Mr Musyoka’s Kitui backyard, which was won by former Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu who has had an on-and-off relationship with him.

It also landed only two Senate seats, 20 National Assembly positions and a lower number of seats in various county assemblies than in 2013. Most of the seats went to rival political outfits, including the Jubilee Party.

KIVUTHA KIBWANA

Governors Nathif Jama (Garissa), Julius Malombe (Kitui), Alfred Mutua (Machakos), Hussein Dado (Tana River) won on Wiper tickets in 2013, but this time, only Prof Kivutha Kibwana (Makueni), who defected to the party, and Mr Granton Samboja (Taita-Taveta), got elected.

It is on the basis of these figures that the party’s political strength is seen to have diminished and key counties are in the hands of leaders who are not considered Mr Musyoka’s loyalists.

The election of Mrs Ngilu in Kitui and Dr Alfred Mutua as Machakos governor presents a fresh political headache for the Wiper leader as he seeks to regain control of the region that forms his bedrock support.

While celebrating his re-election,  Dr Mutua indicated that his disagreements with Mr Musyoka were not over and that his victory was a major triumph not just against his main opponent, Ms Wavinya Ndeti, but against the Wiper leader.

POLITICAL RIVALRY

Mrs Ngilu weathered great resistance from Mr Musyoka to beat his candidate, Dr Malombe, who was a distant third, and her win is seen as a major statement of intent to dislodge Wiper from the county politics.

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