Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi and his Mombasa counterpart Hassan Joho are set to meet ward reps today for talks on the region’s political future.
The meeting comes as the push for the establishment of a coastal political party pick momentum in the region.
Yesterday, Kingi confirmed that he will attend a meeting which was initially seen as a counter to an earlier one he held with 21 MPs from the region.
Joho had planned to host the ward reps on Friday, but the date was later rescheduled after his advisers asked him to call it off fearing that it would been as a supremacy battle.
“We want to build on the unity of the leaders, and forge a common agenda for development for the region and ensure that we lift the living standards of our people,” said Kingi.
Kingi said that the purpose of the meetings was to build political unity that would enable the region to realise its development plans under the Jumuiya ya Kauinti za Pwani (JKP).
“Yes the meeting will take place to discuss issues dear to our people including the revival of JKP economic agenda. We will also deliberate on the issue of political unity,” he said.
On the formation of a political party, Kingi said leaders in the region will consult widely and listen to the views of all stakeholders including the professionals, elders and the youth before the decision is made.
“We are leaders and we represent the people, if they tell us a strong political vehicle (party) for the region is what they want, then we will heed. Even without me or any other leader, if the people insist on the party, they will get what they want,” said Kingi.
Joho has been opposed to the formation of the Coastal party and vowed to contest for the country’s presidency in 2022 on an Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party ticket.
Tomorrow’s meeting is a build up to a regional leaders meeting that Kingi will host in Kilifi on September 7 and will bring together all the six governors, senators, legislators and ward reps.
Idris Abdulrahaman, who works in the Mombasa governor’s office, said Joho’s meeting with MPs and ward reps was pushed from Friday to today to allow for proper planning.
According to Idris, adequate preparations were needed so that all leaders can travel to Mombasa to attend.
“The purpose of the meeting is to enable governor Joho to explain to ward reps and other leaders who will attend the nature and scope of the Buildings Bridges Initiative,” he said.
Yesterday it also emerged that Kaya elders had started campaigns a month ago to sensitise residents on the need for the region’s political unity.
Kingi and Hassan Joho, once close political allies, have since broken ranks, with cracks between them widening after last year’s poll.
While Joho endorsed and has embraced the handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga, Kingi has been reluctant to join in the band wagon.
Among the demands that Kingi has made to support the Uhuru-Raila handshake is the implementation of the Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission report to address land injustices in the region.
“In the spirit of the handshake, landless people of Kilifi should settled,” he said.