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TNA leaders at the Coast fault Uhuru Kenyatta’s State appointments

By BERNARD SANGA AND PATRICK BEJA

MOMBASA, KENYA: A rift has emerged within the Jubilee constituent parties in the Coast region over recent presidential appointment of parastatal directors with The National Alliance (TNA) faction saying it had not benefited.

TNA officials in Mombasa say that those appointed to chair the parastatal boards were allied to Deputy President William Ruto’s United Republican Party (URP) and that TNA had so far gotten a raw deal.

Officials of the president’s party who spoke to The Counties said the only TNA-allied person that has been appointment from the region is Danson Mungatana who has been appointed to serve as Kenya Ports Authority chairman.

“Though we welcome Mungatana’s appointment, it should be known that he comes from Tana River County and not Mombasa. Mombasa County has completely not benefited,” said Matano Kheri Chengo, the Mombasa TNA branch chairman.

Recycling

He said the Jubilee coalition garnered over 65,000 votes from Mombasa County which was the highest number of votes compared to other counties in the region and that it deserved to benefit from the appointments.

The officials claimed that they spent huge amounts of cash to fund the coalition’s activities during the campaigns and that “it was time for the TNA to reward them to enable them to recover the finances they spent.”

President Uhuru Kenyatta has effected several changes in parastatals that have seen new appointments of several people from the region.

But the appointments have sparked reaction from Coast legislators accusing the President of recycling politicians that were rejected in the last elections instead appointing people with fresh ideas.

Local politicians were particularly peeved by the appointment of former head civil servants Francis Muthaura to chair the Lamu Port Southern Sudan-Ethiopia Transport Corridor LAPSSET for three years.

Others who have been appointed from Coast region are Mwalimu Digore who was appointed the chairman of the board of directors of the Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA), former Malindi MP Lucas Maitha who is now chair the board of directors of Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) and Mrabu Chaka from Kwale County who was appointed to head the board of directors of Kenya Ferry Services (KFS). Mr Mrabu replaces former Ganze MP Joseph Kingi. Digore and Chaka are from Kwale County while Maitha is from Kilifi County.

Marsden Madoka’s tenure at the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) was extended and so was that of former Likoni MP Suleiman Shakombo at the Kenya Petroleum Refineries Limited (KPRL).

Madoka, the former Mwatate legislator, is from Taita Taveta County while Shakombo who is also the former Likoni MP, is from Mombasa County.

Another recent appointment is that of Annania Mwaboza who was appointed as the legal/political advisor in the office of the Deputy President. Mwaboza, a former Kisauni MP and Mombasa URP pointman is from Mombasa.

TNA leaders at the Coast however say that though there are over 200 new appointments expected in the government, it was wrong for them to be overlooked in the 20 appointments that have already been announced.

“It is a concern because we spent our money to finance Jubilee activities in Mombasa during the last election campaigns. We have been sidelined not only in appointments but also in meeting the party leader. When Ruto comes to Mombasa, he meets only URP officials, when Ngilu comes she meets Narc officials but our party leader never meets us,” said Farid Ahmed Swaleh, the TNA Coast Coordinator.

“Once a politician has won the election, it is only good that he rewards those who fought for him,” he said.

Old minds

Mr Shakombo, Mombasa URP chairman and former Cabinet minister, dismissed claims that TNA may have been given a raw deal at the Coast.

“I thank the President and his deputy for considering the people who stood by them at the Coast and this has sent out a message to residents that the two leaders always stand by true friends. This has never happened in the history of the Coast region,” Shakombo said.

He hinted that there would be more appointments of trusted politicians in the near future and told those left out not to be despair.

Other local politicians have also opposed the appointment saying the President had recycled old minds that lack ideas.

“The election of young people into Parliament and Senate was a manifestation that Kenyans want the youth to lead this country and it is a betrayal for this government to recycle leaders who are even unrecyclable,” said Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir.

Others have opposed the appointments on grounds that they failed to meet the gender rule as out of the 20 appointed so far, only two women have benefited.

In Taita Taveta County, Taita Taveta Council of elders chairman Boniface Mwandau supported the distribution of the state corporation jobs in the region saying so far the appointments were balanced.

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