Kisii Sports Club last week on Friday was host to several dignitaries who turned up to Kickstarter the national discourse around the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) taskforce report. Among other guests were governors from the Nyanza region and their counterparts from Lower Eastern- specifically Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu and Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana.
The presence of Charity Ngilu was expected. She is steadfast and keeps her stand.
It was, however, unusual for Kivutha Kibwana to be at the conference and even make a speech purporting to support the BBI report. Unusual for many reasons:
Kibwana has not been vocal on supporting the initiative from start, in fact, he has been a close associate of Deputy President William Ruto more than he has been with president Uhuru Kenyatta. It was, therefore, shocking to Kenyans to see him at the Kisii forum and even attempt to express support to a process that he has not been an outright supporter to; as a result, leaving Kenyans wondering whether he is the "watermelon" in the BBI process or what exactly attracts him to the initiative lately?
It is not lost on Kenyans that at one point Kibwana was appointed to Cabinet by President Mwai Kibaki and during that period he abandoned his colleagues in the civil society where he made a name as a champion of political and economic reforms which he had dedicated much of his life to. His friends and peers in the NGO world were surprised when he stopped being a crusader of civil liberties and some even later accused him of being the reason why the Bomas Draft Constitution was never passed.
And then came 2013 when contested for the position of Governor of Makueni, briefly showing some dalliance with Wiper Leader Kalonzo Musyoka only to abandon Kalonzo to run on a different political party and not Wiper. His greed and what could be described as political selfishness almost saw Makueni County dissolved after a long period of endless squabbles with members of the Makueni County Assembly.
It took the intervention of President Kenyatta to sort the situation. That is the moment Kenyans started to see Kibwana's true colors as an egocentric leader only keen to grow his personal interests at the expense of the bigger communities he purports to lead.
When Kenyatta helped him get back on his foot, he became a close ally of the president and Jubilee party on to quickly turn around to start a political relationship with William Ruto by inviting him to Makueni to launch imaginary government projects, when in the real sense he was providing a platform for Ruto to politic and fight the president.
Until recently, Kenyans have known Kibwana to be a close associate of William Ruto, even accompanying him to rallies in other parts of the country away from Makueni.
His recent turn up in Kisii and even declare Charity Ngilu to be the BBI chairperson for the Ukambani region has shocked Kenyans who are wondering what his exact intention in the BBI is and why he was not ready to spearhead the process himself and instead crown Ngilu as Chair.
In the Ukambani region where Kibwana comes from people are now asking: Is Kivutha Kibwana the "watermelon" of the BBI process?
If history is traced, there's no doubt that Kibwana is a dangerous political animal that should not be left to come anywhere close to BBI.