Reuben Mwambingu @reubenmwambingu
The push to register a political party for the Coast region has divided key leaders from the area and opened ground for a supremacy war among key leaders
The scripts have completely changed between governors Hassan Joho of Mombasa and his Kilifi counterpart Amason Kingi who for long, have been almost like Siamese twins of the region, joined at the hip by the Orange Democratic Movement.
But the two leaders are now split on the push for a political party for the Coast region.
While Kingi has promised to lead the region out of ODM to a new outfit come June this year, Joho insists that ODM remains the party with interests of the region at heart and warned residents to be wary of “political conmanship in the name of coast unity.”
Kingi and Joho, who are both serving their second and last terms as governors are on record declaring that they will vie for the presidency in 2022.
“Formation of a new political party will only serve to divide the people further and undermine the unity that the region has enjoyed in ODM and which has enabled them to push our agenda as a united region on the national stage,” Joho stated.
But Kingi reckons that time was ripe for the Coast to stop supporting parties from other regions.
“We are now mature and fit enough to face 2022 on our own with our own political party.
The people in the region are tired of being treated like second class citizens during every poll and we demand to be recognised as we have more than 1.7 million registered voters,” said Kingi told the People Daily.
“The only way for the region to be respected was to have their own political vehicle to push its agenda for development of its people.”
MPs Aisha Jumwa (Kilifi), Owen Baya (Kilifi North) and Paul Katana (Kaloleni) are among leaders pushing the Coast party narrative.
The three have been rallying for the resurrection of Kadu Asili, a post-independent political party at the Coast which Jumwa is expected to use to seek the governorship in 2022.
Over the weekend Baya and Katana claimed Kingi and Joho were frustrating the formation of a new party.
“Kingi and Joho have dished out money to the youth to ensure that the party is not registered.
Now I want to tell you here in Kaloleni that Kingi and Joho your time is up,” said Baya.
Katana on his part said the idea of a political party for the Coast was unstoppable.
Jumwa and Baya re-ignited the debate on formation of Coast party on December 31, 2020 saying it will help negotiate for positions ahead of the 2022 election.