By Cornelius Kimbui
As the clock ticks towards 2022, Machakos County gubernatorial race is shaping up to be the battle of titans. Again, the 2022 Machakos gubernatorial contest is one of the interesting ones that many are eagerly waiting to see. It is anticipated that the contest will feature county political heavyweights. Many have thrown their hats into the race and are believed to be formidable politically, financially and have a good number of supporters on their sides.
Machakos County Governor Dr. Alfred Mutua is serving his second and last term in office as per the constitution but is bound to be a major player in the gubernatorial race. His choice of a successor will not be an easy sale, though many of these candidates have experience in politics and they have knowledge on how to move crowds despite any political wave.
Despite challenges, Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka’s party will be eyeing to take over the seat from Mutua’s Maendeleo Chap Chap party after losing it in 2017. This means that the race will be tough for both parties as they have a good number of supporters in the county and this will rekindle their political enmity on the ground.
Those who have publicly shown interest include Former Kathiani Mp and who is also the Chief Administrative Secretary for Transport Wavinya Ndeti, former Machakos Senator Johnston Muthama, Machakos Deputy Governor Francis Maliti, Machakos County Assembly Speaker Florence Mwangangi, and Mavoko Mp Patrick Makau.
The Mavoko legislator is a banker by profession and has a wealth of experience in banking having worked for the Standard Chartered Bank, among others. Makau resigned as a banker in 2002 to join active politics. He was elected as the Athi River Councillor in 2002. The Wiper MP was elected Mavoko Mayor in the 2007 general election. He served as Mavoko Mayor until 2011 when he resigned and declared a bid for the Mavoko parliamentary seat in the 2013 general election. Makau was elected Mavoko MP in the 2013 general election on a Wiper Party ticket. In 2017, Makau won re-election contesting on a Wiper Party ticket.
Machakos County which is believed to be Ukambani Wiper Party stronghold, CAS Wavinya Ndeti has maintained the care of its popularity since 2017 even after Dr. Mutua was hardly Pronounced the winner. Dr. Mutua garnered 249, 603 against Ndeti’s 209, 141 votes. The imminent threat of all the candidates contesting for the Machakos gubernatorial seat at the moment remains Wavinya Ndeti who will be attempting to seize the seat for her third time. At the moment, the fire-spitting CAS, Ms. Ndeti has an upper hand because the people of Machakos have not forgotten about her.
Machakos County Assembly Speaker Florence Mwangangi would not have the muscles to shake Ms. Ndeti because she has not built herself and she would be ‘green’ in the political war. However, Ms. Mwangangi who is serving her first term as Speaker, says she is confident of clinching the coveted seat after the exit of the current Governor, Dr. Alfred Mutua, going with her handling of the house business which has seen the passage of several key legislations, including the Climate and Finance Bill a month ago.
Ms. Ndeti, Ms. Mwangangi and Mavoko MP Patrick Makau are members of Wiper Party. All coming from the Populus Mavoko constituency, Ms. Ndeti will have an advantage because she is well known inside and outside Mavoko for having campaigned in the whole County for the last two general elections.
Machakos Deputy Governor, Francis Maliti will have a hard time marketing himself because the people of Machakos will demand some details concerning his experience in politics. According to the electorate, Eng. Maliti is a soft-spoken leader who can be empowered to deliver in the future.
Machakos ex-senator Johnston Muthama seems to have bowed out of the game after his ex-wife entered politics. The ground has gained trust with Ms. Ndeti because from the look of things she has been in the game for quite some time.