Malombe and Ngilu clash over former mayor’s death

Kitui Governor Julius Malombe and former Lands Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu clashed over the death of former mayor Martha Mwangangi.

Ms Mwangangi was crushed to death when a county fire engine drove into a crowd on Friday as she and Mrs Ngilu joined a protest against the demolition of kiosks in Kitui.

Dr Malombe and Mrs Ngilu met at the ex-mayor’s home at Mwembe Tayari village town on Saturday where they had gone to console the family.

Mrs Ngilu, who has declared her intention to oust Dr Malombe in next year’s election, told the county boss to take responsibility for Ms Mwangangi’s death, her long time political ally.

“Nobody can convince me it was an accident because I saw what happened,” she said.

“The driver ploughed into the crowd unprovoked. It is a miracle that I am still alive,” said Mrs Ngilu.

An agitated Dr Malombe demanded that Mrs Ngilu stop blaming him.

But Mrs Ngilu enraged Dr Malombe more when she said: “We cannot accept the killing of innocent residents under the watch of people who are determined to remain in office despite the cost.”

The governor warned Mrs Ngilu that she was making serious allegations.

“I beseech you to stop making hasty accusations and allow police to conduct investigations,” he said.

Read: Martha died my death, I was the target, claims Ngilu

The governor left soon after the exchange.

Addressing the press at Ithookwe showground earlier, Dr Malombe defended the driver, Mr John Nzuki, claiming he acted in self defence after the protesters threatened to lynch him and burn the truck.

“I was told the demonstrators stoned the fire engine and broke a window. He accidentally ran over her after losing control of the truck,” he said.

He also urged journalists to report factually. “You must refrain from skewed reporting to suit the selfish agendas of some politicians,” he said.

Mr Nzuki is being held at Kitui Central Police Station awaiting court on Monday.

Meanwhile, Ms Mwangangi’s family is demanding an explanation from the county administration.

Her son-in-law, Mr Sammy Muisyo said the county government should take responsibility for her death.

“We read foul play in the whole thing as well as possible political assassination, as Mrs Ngilu, who seeks to unseat Governor Malombe in 2017, escaped death by a whisker,” he said.

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