Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi Tuesday ruled out the formation of a new political party for the Coast region ahead of the 2022 General Elections.
Mr Kingi said instead, leaders would consolidate the existing parties in the region and come up with a formidable coalition that will drive the political and economic agenda of the region.
“The Coast region has several existing parties and forming a new one will complicate the quest for unity within the region. Forming a new party will create more divisions and that is why we do not want to bring in a new party, but we shall instead begin a process of uniting the existing parties,” he said.
Kingi said this while addressing a public rally after launching a Sh60 million road project in Mariakani Ward within Kaloleni Sub County.
His sentiments run counter to an earlier announcement by Kingi and his Mombasa counterpart Hassan Ali Joho, to the effect that they would unveil a new party for the region before June this year.
The two governors’ announcement earned the wrath of Kilifi North Member of Parliament Owen Baya, who said the leaders’ main agenda was to scuttle his (Baya’s) plan to register a new political outfit for the region.
Parties that have roots in the region include Kadu Asili, Shirikisho, Republican Congress and Umoja Summit, but their performance has not been very impressive as most influential politicians in the region have used parties from other regions to ascend to power.
In the 2017 elections, Joho and Kingi and a host of Members of Parliament were elected on the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party while others were elected through parties that were in coalition with the now fractious Jubilee Party.
But on Tuesday, Kingi said the aim of consolidating the existing parties was to have an umbrella coalition of parties with roots in the region to have a strong political vehicle that will act as a bargaining tool with larger parties in the country.
“Our aim is to have a political vehicle that will deal with issues affecting the Coast people, and that can reach a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with other parties and be able to bargain and for the rights and aspirations of the coastal people,” he said.
The second time governor criticised the formation of the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party associated with Deputy President William Ruto, saying the party did not have the interests of the Coast region and urged residents to reject it.
“UDA is a party with its own agenda and candidates and does not have any plans of uniting the people, let alone having the interests of our region,” he said. “I urge our people to reject the ‘hustler’ movement as it does not mean well for our us.”
The governor said the Deputy President had remained in power despite criticising the government he formed with President Uhuru Kenyatta “because the two leaders formed a formidable coalition with equal rights through a political agreement.
This, he said, was what leaders in the region are yearning for – forming a political outfit that will not be shaken by other parties even if there is a fallout.
”The Journey will not be easy; therefore, any form of cowardice has to be eliminated. We have to take our own destiny in our hands for us to stop being dictated to by Ruto, Uhuru or (former Prime Minister) Raila Odinga,” he said.
Kingi at the same time urged Coast residents to support the constitutional amendment bill fronted under the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) saying the proposal to increase the sharable revenue to counties from the current 15 percent to 35 percent would boost the region’s development.
He said under the new changes, which also propose the formation of an additional four constituencies in Kilifi County would enable the county to get an additional Sh10 billion in sharable revenue as well as more money from the National Government Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF).
”Ruto was here over the weekend and told the residents of Kilifi county to reject the billions and take a wheelbarrow. Stop following politicians but stand with the truth,” he said.
Also present during the launch was Speaker Jimmy Kahindi, Mariakani MCA Fondo Kimosho, nominated MCA Koki Musyoki together with County Executive Committee (CEC) Members and chief officers.
by Emmanuel Masha