Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho and his Kilifi counterpart, Amason Kingi, have finally bowed to pressure from Deputy President William Ruto’s allies, who have been rooting for the formation of a coastal political party.
Speaking separately last week, the two ODM governors hinted that the region needs its own outfit for it to have a say in national politics.
Kingi did not beat around the bush in his quest for all leaders at the coast to come together and chart their path.
The Kilifi county boss, who spoke during the funeral of former Kaloleni MP Gunga Mwinga, said that they were being taken advantage of by party leaders of outfits that sponsored in elections.
“The coast should stop being over-reliant on parties from other regions. I want to assure the coastal people that, come June, we shall have our own outfit that will be used to spearhead the region’s political agenda,” he was quoted by the Nation as saying.
For his part, Joho told a public gathering in Tana River County that the region was ready to produce the next President because it has the numbers.
“It is high time coast people charted their own political destiny. We shall no longer be the slaves of people who have been using us for their own political gain,” he said.
However, on 3rd January, the deputy ODM leader issued a detailed statement. castigating Ruto’s allies over their plan to establish a regional party.
In the document published on ODM’s official website, Joho accused the DP of using his foot soldiers to divide the region, noting that the coastal people were solid;y behind the Raila Odinga-led party.
He noted that Tangatanga politicians rooting for a coastal party had “sold their souls” to the Deputy President.
“A group of current and former MPs from the coast has been going around the region talking of forming a new political party supposedly to champion the interests of the locals. There is nothing new in this push. It is the usual case of people trying to earn a living through fraud and conmanship. whose godfather Kenyans know only too well,” he said.
But there is another problem that could deter the unity talks. It is a raging supremacy battle between Joho and Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya over the regional kingship.
The Tangatanga faction has handed Mvurya the regional mantle, and it remains unclear whether Joho, who goes by the title Sultan due to his popularity, will accept to work uner the Kwale County boss should the two camps agree to work together.