Kivutha Kibwana (born June 13, 1954) is a Kenyan politician and human rights activist. He was Minister for Defence, Minister for Environment and a former member of parliament for the Makueni Constituency. He is also a former advisor to President Mwai Kibaki. Prof. Kibwana is currently serving his second term as the first Governor of Makueni County.
Kivutha Kibwana is the Governor of Makueni County and the party leader of the Muungano Party.
He is also a professional lawyer, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Law from the University of Nairobi. Kibwana also holds degrees in International Law and a Master in Theological Studies.
In October 2020, the Governor was voted as the third-best performing governor in a study by Infortrak Research and Consulting for 2019-2020. Makueni county was also ranked as the most improved devolved county having jumped from position 40 in 2015 to third 2020.
He was the spokesperson of National Convention Executive Council (NCEC) from 1997 to 2002. In the University of Nairobi, he also served as the Associate Professor (1977-2002), Dean of the Faculty of Law, a senior lecturer and chairman of the Department of private law.
In 2002, he became a Member of Parliament for Makueni Constituency, and Minister of both Land and Settlements and Environment & Natural Resources.
In January 2008, he was appointed as Presidential Advisor for Constitutional, Parliamentary & Youth Affairs in the President Office and served until September 2012.
Makueni County Governor
During the Kenyan general elections of 2013, Prof. Kibwana was elected as the first Governor of Makueni County under the Muungano Development Movement Party which he was leading. Disagreements with majority of members of Makueni County Assembly who belonged to the Wiper Democratic Movement Party had him consider resigning from the position of Governor in the same year he was elected. While Prof. Kibwana did not resign, a petition was filed to suspend Makueni County citing that the Kibwana led Executive and the Assembly were operating at extreme levels of disagreement. The sharp disagreements persisted to the extent that a commission appointed by President Uhuru Kenyatta recommended the dissolution of the county government. The commission’s recommendation was overruled by President Kenyatta.
In 2017, Professor Kibwana’s Muungano party entered a pre-election pact with the Wiper Democratic Movement Party. Kibwana was appointed Chairman of the Wiper Democratic Movement Party. Professor Kibwana was subsequently re-elected as Makueni Governor for a second term as Governor for Makueni County at the 2017 general elections. One year after being elected, Kibwana fell out with Kalonzo Musyoka, the Wiper Democratic Movement Party Leader.This led to admonishment of Prof. Kibwana by other politicians belonging to the Wiper party. The fall out culminated in an announcement by Kalonzo Musyoka that the agreement between Muungano Party and the Wiper Party had expired. Prof. Kibwana also claimed that he would have been re-elected regardless of the pre-election pact with the Wiper party. In July 2019, Prof. Kivutha was replaced as Chairman of the Wiper party by Chirau Ali Mwakwere.
Performance as Governor
In the final fiscal year of Prof. Kibwana’s first term as Governor, Makueni county registered an unspent development budget amounting to 1.5 Billion Kenya Shillings (about 15 million US Dollars). A report of the Auditor General’s Office for the subsequent fiscal year 2017/18 ranked Prof. Kibwana’s Makueni Government alongside Nyandarua County Government as the best in the use of public funds. This was the first fiscal year of Prof. Kibwana’s second term as Makueni Governor. In early 2018, media reports depicted Prof. Kibwana as most well-performing of Kenya’s 47 Governors. The reports linked this to Makueni County’s implementation of Universal Health Care and its support of agro-processing for the economic empowerment of farmers
2022 Presidential Ambition
Prof. Kibwana has expressed interest in vying to be the 5th President of the Republic of Kenya in the 2022 general elections. This is despite views that he will be endorsing the candidacy of the incumbent Deputy President Dr. William Samoei Arap Ruto. In an October 2019 interview, Prof. Kibwana showed hesitance in vying for the Presidency terming a presidential campaign so expensive that one has to have accumulated immense wealth to afford vying. He indicated that he would be willing to serve as a pro bono President if his basic needs were met. Prof. Kibwana’s presidential bid will be after serving a maximum of two five year terms as Governor of Makueni County as per the Kenyan Constitution
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