Amason Kingi ODM ouster and talk of Coast party splits Raila allies

Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi at a past function in Mtwapa, Kilifi County [Kelvin Karani, Standard]

The removal of Governor Amason Kingi from the leadership of ODM in Kilifi County has divided local party officials. Already, camps have emerged, with those backing the embattled governor saying a new party will be launched in September.

Kingi has been linked to the Pamoja Alliance party although he has not formally resigned from ODM. Some MCAs have started identifying themselves with the new outfit.

Those who support Kingi’s ouster claim the county boss was disloyal to ODM, a clay the governor denies.

Yesterday, Kingi said on the telephone that his political outfit will favour Raila and that no party will infiltrate Kilifi County. “In all these things I am doing, the biggest beneficiary is Raila Odinga,” Kingi insists.  

While Kingi said he will work with officials of the new party from the region to strengthen it, Kingi said his political calculation will benefit the ODM leader in 2022.

Three MCAs allied to Kingi who spoke after attending an ODM meeting in Kilifi said Pamoja Alliance party will not field a presidential candidate and will back Raila’s presidential bid.

On Sunday, the new Kilifi ODM officials led by chairman and Ganze MP Teddy Mwambire held a charged meeting with elected leaders at a Kilifi hotel following the governor’s ouster.

Mwambire said the meeting had been for house-keeping as the party unveils a 100-day tour across the county to bolster its support.

He added that elected leaders purporting to have left the party had not formally relinquished their membership for fear of losing their seats.

“In the next 100 days, we are going to revamp ODM and we are opening up offices from the county capital all the way to the wards since the running of the party has been taken back to the people,” he said, adding that 85 per cent of voters in the county were in ODM.

In attendance were Rabai MP William Kamoti, Senator Stewart Madzayo, Kilifi South MP Ken Chonga, Kilifi Woman Rep Gertrude Mbeyu and 20 MCAs led by Majority Leader Adamson Mwathethe.

Chonga said the Orange party will perform the way it did in the 2017 General Election when it swept all the parliamentary seats and 32 out of 35 MCA positions in Kilifi.

“Leaders in ODM should be assured of retaining their seats and those who will go astray will regret their decision,” he said.

Madzayo said no party could outdo ODM in Kilifi. Mbeyu added that those who had rebelled were hesitant to resign from the party membership for fear of suffering a political blow in the 2022 polls.

“They don’t want to resign from the party because they know the wrath of the electorate and soon you will see them troop back,” she added.

Mwathethe said the new party leadership was profiling rebels and will soon launch a campaign to whip them. However, some MCAs who attended the meeting disagreed with the resolutions.

MCAs Sammy Ndago of Shimo la Tewa ward, Gilbert Peru (Sokoni) and John Mwamutsi of Kibarani ward said they will not be intimidated for supporting Kingi and his new party.

Mr Ndago said the region will support Raila but will continue do so outside the Orange party.

“We still love Baba (Raila) but we have our way as a region. From September, we will show our people the political direction they will follow,” Ndago said.

Peru acknowledged that Raila’s political influence in the region was strong and insisted they will continue supporting him. “We know there is a party Kingi has formed and it will be launched soon. We love Raila in Kilifi and therefore, we will not field a presidential candidate,” Peru said.

Mwamutsi said they will continue respecting Raila but under a political party led by Kingi. “We love and respect Raila and we shall continue doing so under our own political house,” he said.

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