, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 9 – The widow of the late Mutula Kilonzo, Nduku, has said she will vie for the Makueni Senate seat in a by-election set for July 22.
Nduku revealed she is in the race to journalists in Machakos on Sunday.
She had attended a special mass in remembrance of the late Bishop Urbanus Joseph Kioko at Our Lady of Lourdes Cathedral Catholic Church in Machakos town at which President Uhuru Kenyatta was present.
As she made the announcement, she was significantly in the company of Charity Ngilu, who was associated with NARC until her appointment to the Cabinet as Secretary for Lands, Housing and Development.
The declaration creates a potential split in the family as Nduku’s step-daughter, Kethi Kilonzo, is understood to be firmly in the race after she gave into demands by Wiper and CORD leaders. Wiper had been expected to name its candidate a week ago but put off the announcement to a later date as it sought to convince Kethi to take up the mantle.
The Makueni seat was declared vacant by Senate Speaker Ekwe Ethuro following the death of Kilonzo on April 27 from unknown causes.
Former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka has declared he has no interest in the seat.
His party chose to interview candidates for the position instead of conducting primaries due to time constraints.
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission has issued the Makueni County Returning Officer Guracha Boru a notice to conduct the by election.
The law requires that a by-election is held within 90 days from the occurrence of a vacancy.
The commission has prepared a budget of Sh225 million which it has presented to the National Treasury for consideration and approval.