Governor Kingi starts members recruitment drive for new party

NATIONAL |

Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi. [Kelvin Karani, Standard]

A political party associated with Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi is on a recruitment drive to achieve the Political Parties Act requirements.

In an exercise launched on Saturday in Kilifi County, Pamoja African Alliance (PAA) strives to open offices in 24 counties and register members in those devolved units.

Enthusiasts thronged party offices in Kilifi, Mombasa, Tana River, Taita Taveta, Kwale, Lamu, Garissa, Kitui and Nakuru counties to register.

According to the regulations, a political party has to open offices in at least 24 counties and register at least 1,000 members in each county.

PAA Coordinator Samir Nyundo, who resigned as the county ODM Youth League chairman last month, supervised the member recruitment drive in Kilifi town. 

Hundreds of residents turned up at the party offices to register and were issued with membership cards.

Nyundo said the recruitment drive started on a high note, and the only region they may face a challenge in is Rift Valley, “but they are determined to penetrate the region.”

Rift Valley is seen to be the political base for Deputy President William Ruto, who is associated with United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party.

Deputy President William Ruto. [File, Standard]

Yesterday, Governor Kingi declared that PAA was a party for the people and dismissed those claiming that he has not consulted widely over its formation.

He took issue with Matuga MP Kassim Tandaza, who advised him to consult leaders and residents over the new party if he wanted their backing.

“I met elected leaders in Nyali and Coast governors in Taita Taveta,” he said. Tandaza had expressed fear that PAA was like a private entity.

“I have talked to the Kilifi County political leadership and no one is aware of what PAA stands for. The idea is not inclusive, only Governor Kingi and Magarini MP Michael Kingi know about the party,” Tandaza had said.

According to residents, it was time for the region to have a party that will propel the agenda of the region at the national level.

Justus Charo, a village elder from Mkoroshoni in Kilifi, said he was happy to register with PAA and expressed optimism that if successful, the party would enable the region to have its voice at the national level.

“We have previously tried establishing our home-grown parties, but with greed and external interference, it became difficult,” he said.

Asha Said said the era of riding on other people’s parties was gone, and coalition politics was the new norm. “When you go to Ukambani there is Kalonzo, in Kisumu, there is Raila, in Central, there is Uhuru, but here at the Coast, we did not have a front liner party to push the agenda of the region,” she said.

The push for the new political formation has, however, divided area politicians. Most elected leaders are members of ODM, Wiper, Jubilee and UDA.

Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa and her Kilifi North counterpart Owen Baya initially pushed for a Coast-based party, but they shelved the idea and joined UDA. Kilifi Senator Stewart Madzayo and Ganze MP Mwambire have remained in ODM.

Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

Prominent lawyer George Kithi said coming up with the new party was a good initiative, but he was afraid that cronyism and personalisation of the party would break it.

“The only issue is that the problems that have affected previous attempts would probably still be prevailing. Those pushing this agenda are the same faces who have been in ODM and have already personalized the outfit,” he said.

Kithi, who is eying the Kilifi senate seat in the 2022 polls, said he hopes the new faces will popularise the PAA party.

Amina Mnyazi, a political activist and aspirant for the Malindi MP post, said all leaders are divided.

“I have heard Kingi talk about his party, and when he calls us, we shall sit with him and the draft way forward,” she said.

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