Africa-Press – Kenya. Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana has downplayed concerns by his competitors that he is too old to vie for the Senate seat.
At 68, Kibwana is serving his last term as governor but has his eyes set on the Makueni Senate seat through the Muungano Party ticket under the Azimio la Umoja umbrella.
But his competitors have said that the professor is now too old to hold political office.
“My competitors say am old, Senator is for the young. I should retire,” Kibwana said in a tweet on Thursday.
“Further they allege position is inferior to the governorship. Alternatively, I should seek a position in the Azimio government,” he added.
Kibwana said his opponents think a senatorial position is too junior for him having already been a two-term governor.
They think he should go for a national position like what other last-term governors are positioning themselves for on either side of the political divide.
But the governor thinks otherwise.
“My ambition is to serve the Devolution Cause in Senate for Makueni and the entire country,” Kibwana said.
The age issue has, however, never been an impediment for many politicians in and outside the country.
Azimio presidential candidate Raila Odinga, for instance, is in the race to become Kenya’s fifth president at 77 years old.
The ODM leader is a front runner in the August 9 general election alongside his main competitor DP William Ruto who is 55 years old.
Similarly, the current Kisii Senator Sam Ongeri wants to be Kisii governor. He is 84 years old.
Kibwana’s challengers appear to have resorted to the age issue seemingly after having failed to find fault in him on integrity or development track record.
For instance, a 2021 survey by Insight Strategists Solution Africa ranked him top in development based on projects he has implemented in Makueni.
A year earlier in October 2020, he was ranked by Infotrak among the three best-performing governors at 74.4 per cent approval alongside Kakamega’s Wycliffe Oparanya (82.3%) and Kwale’s Salim Mvurya (77.1%).
The poll ranked Makueni as the most improved having jumped from position 40 in the 2015 survey.