Kitui Deputy Governor Penina Malonza is on the verge of setting a political precedent.
Should Senator David Musila the Kitui independent governorship candidate whose running-mate she is wins in the August 8 General Election, she will have made history for deputising two different governors.
In an interesting political twist Ms Malonza, the incumbent deputy governor, was named by Senator Musila as his running mate, two months ago, while still serving in office under incumbent Governor Julius Malombe of Wiper Party.
The deputy governor has been campaigning hard to send her boss home and is likely to set a record of deputising two governors if Mr Musila beats Dr Malombe at the ballot.
Ms Malonza who has been at loggerheads with Dr Malombe claims she has undergone untold humiliation in the four years she has served as his deputy and that she will campaign for regime change to restore women dignity.
The deputy Governor said her boss should not be given a second term in office by Kitui voters because he had allegedly presided over “serious intra-marginalization” within the vast county.
“I thank Senator Musila for the confidence he has shown in me and I’ll work hard as his loyal deputy during and after the campaigns to serve the whole county without bias or favoring certain areas” she said adding she is the corner stone ignored by some builders.
The choice of Ms Malonza was for regional balance and is expected to help Mr Musila consolidate peripheral and marginalised areas of Kitui County where the Senator enjoys massive support.
Ms Malonza is confident that Mr Musila will trounce his rivals Dr Malombe and former cabinet secretary Charity Ngilu due to his exemplary record in addressing social and economic challenges facing Kenyans.
“Other than offering specific campaign pledges, Senator Musila has a record to run on. His legislative achievements where he successfully moved key bills are enough proof that he is best suited for the county’s top job.
She cites the famous Musila Bill that required the government to retain in office civil servants who have attained retirement age until they are paid their full benefits and another law that compelled schools to release withheld students’ academic certificates.
“Mr Musila was the brainchild behind the amendments to both the Pensions Act and Kenya National Examinations Council Act, and these two legislations have had a positive impact on every household not only in Kitui County but across Kenya” she told the Nation in an interview.
Ms Malonza says their campaign is build around the real issues affecting every family and that the two have proved to be the champions in addressing youth unemployment, tackling corruption and social welfare.
“After he moved the amendments to the Pensions Act, a dependant’s pension is today paid within 90 days after the death of the employee and retiring civil servants get their dues promptly” she said.
She added that thousands of form four graduates and their parents who struggled to pay their school fees are happy courtesy of Mr Musila’s efforts because Head teachers no longer choose to comply with or ignore government directives to release certificates to students who have not cleared fees.
The deputy Governor revealed a strategy that is cleverly designed to endear them to parents and jobless youth, as the experienced pair of hands who understand the social and economic issues.
Ms Malonza, a former senior executive with Compassion International have been at loggerheads for several months with Dr Malombe and her nomination by Senator Musila did not come as a surprise to many.
Their relationship had deteriorated to the extent the two publicly clashed time and again over small issues, exposing the boiling tensions between them.
In September last year, a visibly furious Dr Malombe shocked people when he disparagingly described his deputy as “an unattractive and fat woman” whom he regrets having picked as his running mate in the last elections.
“I did not know this person. I chose her simply because I wanted a lady deputy from Kitui south but she doesn’t appreciate that I picked her from obscurity and made her a senior leader” he said.
The Governor rebuked her saying she enjoys a big salary, bodyguards and cars that come with being a deputy governor yet she never contributed any funds to his election campaigns and that she should respect him for elevating her status.
Dr Malombe was widely criticised by women leaders including Mrs Ngilu and women MCAs who demanded apology saying ridiculing his deputy in public amounted to insulting all women.
Audio clips of Dr Malombe dressing down his deputy in unsavoury and derogatory language for alleged sabotage and disrespect are shared extensively on social media and have dominated this campaign.
After their bitter political fallout, Governor Malombe picked a new running mate, a former primary school teacher and trade unionist Agnes Kambua Musee from Mwingi north.
Mrs Musee, who ran for Mwingi North parliamentary seat in the 2013 elections on a Chama Cha Uzalendo (CCU) ticket is former Executive secretary of the Kenya National Union of Teachers Kyuso branch.
She is expected to help Dr Malombe gain political foothold in his competitor Mr Musila’s Mwingi backyard.
On her part, Mrs Ngilu picked Dr Wathe Nzau, university lecturer and former chairman Kenttec, a government agency that deals with animal diseases as her deputy.