NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 10 – The Wiper Democratic Movement could withdraw Kethi Kilonzo as its candidate in the Makueni Senate by-election after her step-mother, Nduku Kilonzo, announced that she will vie for the seat.
Speaking to Capital FM News, Machakos Senator and Wiper party member Johnson Muthama said they would not like to split the family down the middle on account of political office.
“If it is indeed true that (President) Uhuru (Kenyatta) and (Cabinet Secretary Charity) Ngilu have endorsed Nduku, we may be forced to field one of the other candidates we considered because we value family and want them to remain united in the face of their grief,” he said.
Muthama added that Wiper party officials would meet on Monday afternoon to weigh their options and chart the way forward, in order to avoid a family feud.
The by-election is set for July 22.
Nduku Kilonzo announced her candidature for the Makueni Senate seat on Sunday when she accompanied NARC leader Charity Ngilu to a church service in Machakos Town – at which President Kenyatta was also present.
The National Alliance (TNA) Chairman Johnson Sakaja had told Capital FM News that the Jubilee coalition would field a single candidate under NARC.
Political parties have until June 21 to submit their nomination papers contrary to a gazette notice dated May 28 that put the deadline at June 5, according to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Communication Manager, Tabitha Mutemi.
The Makueni Senate seat was declared vacant by Senate Speaker Ekwe Ethuro on May 13 following the death of Mutula Kilonzo on April 27 under unclear circumstances.
The family drama that is now unfolding over the Makueni Senate seat adds to that which followed Kilonzo’s death when Esther Nthenya claimed the late Makueni Senator sired her seven-year-old son; allegedly the result of a three-year affair that began when Nthenya was 15 years old.
The paternity case was due to come up for mention on Monday after the High Court ordered that a DNA test be carried out to determine if Kilonzo was indeed the boy’s father.
The cause of Kilonzo’s death is another sticking point for the family with the results of his post-mortem expected in July; the same month the Makueni Senate by-election will be taking place.