BY MWAKWAYA RAYMOND
Proponents of the Coast political alliance have vowed to continue with their mission to set up a regional party irrespective of internal and external forces to stop their endeavours.
The Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi’s push for coastal party has gotten a boost from several legislators who have also decided to actualise his call.
Kingi, speaking at the Women’s International Day held at Vipingo on March 8, 2021, said the determination to unite all political parties and form a coalition was paramount before reaching out for other political outfits.
The Coast people, according to him, are tired of seeking refuge in other political formations and time has come to have their own space to exercise their democratic rights.
“We cannot remain to be political squatters: year in, year out,” he said amid applause.
“It’s true we have been in ODM. We’ve been obedient members, paid our subscriptions in time but we cannot continue staying there forever.
Whenever a child grows up, it’s his right to find himself a suitable house to shelter his head and that’s exactly what Coast people want to do.”
REINVENTING THE WHEEL
In his view, this is quite in order; bound to happen and it should not be construed wrongly as if the region is reinventing the wheel.
“Sometime back we were unable to sustain ourselves but thank God now we have the muscles and capability to do so and we’re quite ready for it,” he stressed.
The governor took a swipe at those who want the Coast people to continue hanging on ODM saying they were misplaced and not reading the mood correctly from the ground which had shifted for agitation of own vehicle.
“How do we continue to stay in ODM when the whole region is yawning for a political outfit that will enable us to have a better bargaining power?” he posed.
At one time, the event came to a standstill when a section of the audience stormed the podium dancing, placards claiming space with coastal party slogans while a section carrying shoulder-high a huge paper ball (Tufe).
The ‘ball’ was then placed strategically and left to remain at the podium through out the function all and sundry to see.
Its symbolism remained a mystery as none of the leaders explained except for ‘speculations’ it was championing for teamwork and departure after quitting the ODM party.
Teddy Mwambire, Ganze MP, was however quick to point out that any meaningful coalition will only be realised if all leaders were involved and talk in one voice instead of talking at each other.
“We cannot call for Coast unity or alliance when we cannot respect each others opinion, it will be a fruitless effort because it won’t bear any fruit if we don’t address the existing indifferences and infightings,” he cautioned.
According to him those behind the Coast unity should ensure to include all the regional leaders on equal terms for it to attract grassroots support in the six counties.
“If it’s for the good of the people within Coast region, it will get my unswerved support without any reservations,” he said.
From different speakers, the Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho came under heavy criticisms for dismissing the coastal political bondage and instead rooting for the ODM vehicle as the ‘saviour’ of the region.
Those who spoke against the governor accused him of championing his own interests through a different party that will not be beneficial to the Coast people.
The Shimo-la-Tewa Ward MCA Sammy Ndago told the Kilifi boss to take charge saying his Mombasa counterpart would not help the region or its people.
Aisha Jumwa, the Malindi MP, hit at Joho saying he’s a self-centred individual who cannot bring any meaningful change here (Coast).
“(Gov) Kingi you can bear me witness that I’ve been supportive of all your initiatives and even for this one – the call to unite Coast people – I will still support you as well,” added the vocal legislator.
The Mombasa boss have declared publicly that he has subimtted his credentials to ODM for consideration of endorsement as the party’s flagbearer come the 2022 general elections.
Apart from Owen Baya (Kilifi North) and Michael Kingi (Magarini) who were absent, the rest of the legislators in attendance vowed to support Kingi in his push to establish Coastal vehicle for 2022 elections.
The regional push to set up a coalition of homegrown parties has sparked condemnation and praise on equal measures from the different cadres of people across political divide.
Raila Amolo Odinga, the ODM party leader on his recent five-day visit of the region, told off those pushing for regional parties saying this was going against the grain of nationhood and pluralism.
“This talk of Coast party is only jeopardising the country’s security,” he warned while starting his tour in Taita Taveta County.
However, his sentiments rubbed the Umoja Summit Party of Kenya (USPK) leadership that wrong that accused ‘Baba’ of playing double stands.
Naomi Cidi, USPK secretary general, termed the ODM leader’s remarks as ‘unfounded and miss guided’ saying he had no moral mandate to ‘lecture’ the region’s leadership on what to do or not to do