In Summary
  • A party National Executive Council meeting slated for Wednesday, July 10, is expected to ratify and announce the decision to pick Mr Mwakere as the national chairman. 

  • Wiper party officials want the next chairman to be an experienced face in Kenyan politics who can help galvanise support across the country, not just within Ukambani region.

Former Cabinet minister Chirau Ali Mwakwere is poised to replace Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana as the chairman of the Wiper Democratic Movement in party leadership changes to be unveiled this week.

A party National Executive Council (NEC) meeting slated for Wednesday, July 10, is expected to ratify and announce the decision to pick Mr Mwakere as the national chairman. 

Multiple sources within the party told the Nation that Mr Mwakwere who joined the party after ditching Jubilee in 2017, has already been acting in that position, as the NEC, the party’s top organ quietly deliberated how to handle Prof Kibwana, their chairman who has turned a harsh critic of both Mr Musyoka and the party.

Wiper party officials want the next chairman to be an experienced face in Kenyan politics who can help galvanise support across the country, not just within Ukambani region.

KIVUTHA'S SIN

According to Wiper Party Chief Whip Robert Mbui, the party has unanimously agreed to replace Prof Kibwana as the national chairman but the governor is free to continue being an ordinary member.

He said Prof Kibwana was running a campaign against Mr Musyoka and the party and wrongly fashioning it as a rebellion yet no other Wiper elected leader supports him.

Mr Mbui, who is also the MP for Kathiani Constituency in Machakos County, confirmed that a decision appointing the next party chairman will be announced in a week’s time but declined to divulge further details.

“The new party chair will be unveiled before the end of next week. The person picked will only serve in an acting capacity until the party conducts national elections” Mr Mbui said.

INFORMAL HANDOVER

The MP said even though several party insiders were in contention for the post, the next chair was unlikely to come from Ukambani region.

That rules out senior party leaders like former Machakos County senator Johnson Muthama from the race.

Another source within the party said Mr Mwakwere has held numerous meetings with Mr Musyoka at the party’s Karen offices and according to them, he has taken up the job already.

“We’ve been instructed to hand over to Amb Mwakwere all the files which belonged to Prof Kibwana at the party offices but there’s no formal announcement about his appointment,” said the source.

INTERESTED CANDIDATES

Other than Mr Mwakwere, businessman Victor Ogeto from Nyamira County and lawyer Martin ole Kamwaro from Narok county – both members of party NEC — are among other party officials said to be interested in the job.

Mr Ogeto and Mr Kamwaro have been the political point men for the Wiper party in Kisii and Maasai communities respectively.

The diplomat who resigned as Kenya's ambassador to Tanzania in the run up to the August 2017 General Election was Wiper party’s governor candidate for Kwale County. He lost to Governor Salim Mvurya of Jubilee party.

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