Kalonzo, Ngilu rivalry plays out yet again as Senate holds its sittings in Kitui

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By Hillary Mageka

Wiper Movement Party Kalonzo Musyoka and Governor Charity Ngilu during a past event. PHOTO: COURTESY

The political supremacy between Wiper Leader Kalonzo Musyoka and Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu played out during the Senate’s first sitting in Kitui County.

Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka, 67 senators and hundreds of parliamentary staff have converged in the county for the second “Senate Mashinani” session, During the period, the House will hold its plenary in the same manner and practice as it happens at the parliament buildings in Nairobi.

Several committees of the House are also lined up to hold sittings at the County Assembly, However, the unending rivalry between the two arch-rivals was laid bare when the county leaders allied to Musyoka snubbed a visit by Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka and a host of senators to the Kitui County Textiles (KICOTEC).

KICOTEC, as it is commonly referred to is an initiative of Governor Charity Ngilu, a project which the Wiper leader, Kitui Senator Enock Wambua, County Speaker George Ndotto and the top leadership of the assembly are critical of.

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During the visit, the Wiper Party dominated county leadership skipped the event terming it “untidy”

Speaker Lusaka led a team of senators to the factory which is one of Governor Ngilu’s flagship projects. Ngilu took the senators around the facility, Impeccable sources told the COUNTY DIARY that the Wiper dominated assembly has refused to approve the Kitui County Corporations Bill to legalize the Sh168 million factory which currently employees more than 500 people.

It is also understood that Senator Wambua who opposed the visit and attempted to persuade the Senators not to visit the premise on grounds that it was set up unlawfully but senators dismissed him.

The Senate Speaker Lusaka overruled him insisting the Senate was not in the county for 2022 politics but to do their legal mandate.

In an interview with Media on Monday, Wambua said he snubbed the visit because the establishment of the facility is not factored is not anchored in law.

“I had made my position on it very clear. It is an illegally and I have no business going where there is an illegality. Auditor General has raised an audit query on its establishment. That is a place you should expect to get me,” the senator said.

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The factory situated at Syongila market, about four kilometers from Kitui town along the Kitui – Nairobi highway is modeled like the Export Processing Zone (EPZ) garment industrial unit, where it will run 24 hours on different working shifts.

Insiders revealed that the Wambua’s no-show at the facility peaked the ugly rivalry pitting the two leaders over the 2022 politics, it is expected to be noisy and messy ahead of 2022 politics in kitui.

According to our insiders, the Senator Kio Wambua has set his eyes on Ngilu’s seat and has already kicked off groundwork to dislodge the veteran politician.

Wambua is said to fear that the project would give the governor would give the political mileage and jeopardize his chances of unseating her.

Addressing journalists after a tour of the factory, Lusaka gave the project a clean bill of health, saying that they were invited to the facility by the governor Ngilu.

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The Speaker urged both arms of the county government put in place necessary legal mechanism to ensure the project operates without hindrance, Lusaka said Article 126 (1) of the Constitution and Standing Order No. 31(1) of the Senate permits the Senate or National Assembly to hold its sittings outside the capital city.

“A sitting of either House may be held at any place within Kenya and commence at any time that the House appoints,” reads Article 126 (1) of the Constitution.

“County governments are there to create an enabling environment for industrialization. I think with time, you will want to look for a partner who can invest in such projects. We also hope you will put in place proper framework so that the projects operate without hindrance,” Lusaka added.

On his part, Ngilu said the establishment of the factory was top on his agenda to create jobs for the thousands of jobless youth in the county and beyond, “We had five key pillars including health, job creation, and health provision. We have implemented and we intend to start more in various parts of the county,” she noted.

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