Skeptics, in 2022 please waste your vote on Kivutha Kibwana

On June 26th 2020 Makueni Governor Professor Kivutha Kibwana announced through twitter his intention to run for Presidency come 2022 Presidential Election. In the tweet the Governor said that he had considered the voice of Wanjiku that has been asking him to run for presidency. “I have listened to the voice of Wanjiku asking me to run for presidency in the coming election. I am available, ready and willing to be Wanjiku’s President. Will go all the way to the Ballot Box with Wanjiku in 2022. We must ensure devolution works for our communities.”

Scanning through the almost 7K comments that have so far provided feedback on the announcement, a lot of Kenyans online are in support of Kibwana’s presidency and obviously there are those who are against the presidency. I will ignore the opposers for now and concentrate on those in support.

Those in support are divided into two camps – the believes and the skeptics. The believers are people like myself who see in him a man capable of truly transforming Kenya economically. This belief is based on the results shown by the Governor in Makueni County, particularly in his second term. In the first term of his governorship professor Kibwana was almost unheard of until when his MCAs tried to throw him out of office. Many of us supported the impeachment process as we didn’t know any better, given that he wasn’t really a PR person. The professor was able to survive the impeachment attempt, went back to his silence only to be noticed again during the 2017 campaigns. In the campaigns the governor humbled himself, campaigned the best way he knew how, and managed to cling back his gubernatorial seat.

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It was after being reelected as the Makueni Governor that Kivutha started revealing just what he had been working on during his first term. The first project that was unveiled was the early 2018 Makueni Universal Healthcare where households pay a meagre shs 500 a year to receive free treatment at Makueni Referral Hospital and other hospitals in the county; a healthcare that costs the county shs 150 million annually.

Another surprising reveal was the unveiling of a milk processing factory that made Makueni Fresh milk brand, and around the same the unveiling of the first fruit factory. All these happened in early 2018. Recently in March 2020, Governor Kibwana unveiled yet another fruit factory that is located in Kalamba.

It is these tremendous achievements that have made many sober minded Kenyans to rally behind Professor Kibwana and promise him their unwavering support, and it is also for the same reason that I have personally been attuned to support his presidential bid.

There are those who would love to also support the presidency of Professor Kivutha Kibwana but are skeptical. They are skeptical for different reasons the two main ones being:

  1. The seeming impossibility of Kibwana winning the Presidency against the tide of state machinery, tribal mechanisations, and the tide of money.
  2. The seeming tainted history where Kibwana did not show strong opposition to corruption during Kibaki’s presidency.
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For the second reason, my quick response is this, “The reason we are supporting Kibwana is not because he is as clean as cotton (sio mweupe kama pamba), but because of his work in Makueni. You should agree that we all prefer someone with an economic vision. Corruption might not be zero tolerated, but it is better a corrupt Kibaki than a corrupt Moi or a corrupt Kenyatta a million times over. We have some reasons to believe that Kibwana might be corrupt but we believe his corruption will only be to an extent that allows real economic expansion, not those book figures being peddled around.”

The idea therefore is not to pretend that Kibwana is an angel brooded in God’s right armpit, but a typical human being, a Kenyan with a sound economic vision for his area of jurisdiction. In the past we have always questioned a leader’s track record (remember Raila vs Kibera noises), so right now we have a person with a solid track record that no one can dispute – making you wonder why anyone in their right mind can still create aspersions. He has opened up at least three big factories in his county, provided a working Universal Health coverage for his people, and done a lot more that we can’t begin to enumerate in this short article.

Then for those who are skeptical based on the improbability of Kivutha Kibwana’s win, what options do you have? There are three options:

1. Vote for the winning team that will end up screwing the country anyway. Be they the deep state team led by Uhuru Kenyatta or the hustler nation led by William Ruto, the person who is poised to win doesn’t seem as someone who has economic interest for the nation, but economic interest for the deep state or for the chief hustler. You shall have won the vote, but within a few years you will be feeling the same frustration those who voted for Jubilee three times are feeling right now – you will be feeling completely wasted.

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2. Stay at home and don’t bother. Here you may not have the emotional rollercoaster associated by the thoughts that your vote aided in making a useless idiot president, but the vote shall have been wasted after all. It would have been better for your preferred candidate to have that one vote in his pocket instead of zero just because you selfishly slept on election day.

3. Waste your vote on Kivutha Kibwana. This is because the first two options are still wasting the vote anyway so you should waste it where if the waste turns out not to be a waste, then you shall have won big.

I guess the logic is very clear. You as a Kenyan who wants change has no option but to waste your vote. You will either waste it on someone who will screw this country up, waste it on by sleeping at home and note voting, or waste it on someone who truly has a track record of transformative leadership. How will you waste your vote?

Odipo Riaga
Managing Editor at KachTech Media
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