Flip-flopping Coast leaders still plotting coalition ahead of 2022 poll

President Uhuru Kenyatta with Coast governors Joho, Kingi and Mvurya

By The Weekly Vision Team

The ODM leaders from the coast are said to have warned their party leader Raila Odinga to “tread with care” as his handshake partner President Uhuru could be behind plans to register a regional “super” political party.

They say Kenyatta is not happy that the coast where his family has extensive business investments like five-star hotels and multi-billion-shilling real estate, remains an ODM stronghold. Insiders say Uhuru has urged coast leaders to stop top “flip-flopping” and united behind a Coast ‘super” party” a move that would deal a real blow to ODM’s stranglehold on the region since the 2007 elections.

This is seen as yet another ‘outright rebellion” against Raila Odinga who has repeatedly told coastal leaders to remain in ODM. The region voted overwhelmingly for ODM and Raila in 2007-2013-2017 general elections. In the hotly contested 2013-2017 presidential elections Odinga of ODM swept the board defeating incumbent President Uhuru

Despite blowing hot and cold, the leaders appear to have taken up the matter seriously following meetings with President Kenyatta. Kenyatta is said be keen on a “friendly” new political outfit ahead of the 2022 transition elections.  Uhuru is said to be happy with the progress so far and has been meeting regional leaders to encourage them to move forward.

This is seen as yet another ‘outright rebellion” against Raila Odinga who has repeatedly told coastal leaders to remain in ODM. The region voted overwhelmingly for ODM and Raila in 2007-2013-2017 general elections. In the hotly contested 2013-2017 presidential elections Odinga of ODM swept the board defeating incumbent President Uhuru.

But times appear to have changed and Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi wants the coast to chart a new direction since ODM is now working with Jubilee led by Uhuru. Kingi has roped in Kadu Asili, Shirikisho Party of Kenya, Umoja Summit Party of Kenya and Republican Congress of Kenya, to cobble a coalition for a ‘super political party”.

 Several meetings have been held days after Kingi met governors Hassan Joho (Mombasa) and Salim Mvurya (Kwale). Kingi revived plans for a regional party after he recently joined his two fellow governors in a meeting with President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House, Nairobi.

In Mombasa, Uhuru recently commissioned the Mama Ngina (named after his mother) one stop business complex that include upscale supermarkets, shops, hair salons, offices, and hotels. Uhuru is said to be aware of the election ‘lashing” he got from Odinga in 2013 and 2017 presidential elections. Although retiring August 2022, the president is understood to be keen on putting in a place a conducive power structure in the region for future protection.

“We are currently fine-tuning the coalition agreement document. The document is on the table and hence the process is on course. We hope the coalition will be unveiled in the next two months or so,” Mr Kombora said. Mr Ngala said Kadu Asili ‘fully supports’ formation of the coalition that is expected to help them achieve unity of the Coast region

Governor Kingi is driven by fresh purpose three weeks after ODM party leader Raila Odinga advised him to abandon plans for a Coast ‘super party and instead remain in the Orange party that has a nationwide presence. But an undeterred Kingi went ahead to meet with local MPs at an undisclosed location to chart the region’s political future.

Some legislators from the area are said to be skeptical of the coalition plan, describing it as a ‘political gamble’.Kadu Asili Secretary General Jimmy Ngala and chairman Joshua Kombora confirmed the meeting took place and  a planned retreat was underway to ” help speed up the process of forming the coalition”.

“We are currently fine-tuning the coalition agreement document. The document is on the table and hence the process is on course. We hope the coalition will be unveiled in the next two months or so,” Mr Kombora said. Mr Ngala said Kadu Asili ‘fully supports’ formation of the coalition that is expected to help them achieve unity of the Coast region.

“We have had fruitful meetings as Coast-based parties and governor Kingi has been coordinating the process,” he said. Separately, Umoja Support Party chairman Matano Chengo dismissed claims that they have already come up with a name of the alliance.

“Those coming up with names of the coalition are malicious. We will soon make the name public,” he said, adding that he hoped Joho and Mvurya would join the coalition once it is unveiled. Kwale Woman Representative Zulekha Hassan recently claimed that Kingi was pushing for the formation of a coalition called Tufe.

Shirikisho is represented by former Cabinet minister Morris Dzoro while Ibrahim Khamis has been the face of the Republican Congress party, which is associated with Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala.

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