Coast leaders drum up support for integration
By David Ochami
| February 11th 2015
Leaders behind Jumuia ya Kaunti za Pwani (JKP) have extended an olive branch to their opponents urging them to support the region's economic integration and social transformation.
The leaders met in Voi last weekend where they not only drummed up support for JKP but also made recommendations including laying claim to coastal assets such as the Port of Mombasa, demanding a role in its privatisation and in future land reforms.
The delegates also resolved to launch a Regional Budget and Economic Forum which will coordinate budget making policy across the six coastal counties.
They also determined to, within 45 days, unveil a framework for establishment of the Coast Investment Bank which will fund large scale projects in the region.
The forum, attended by four coastal governors, hundreds of ward representatives and county executives, called on all coastal leaders to come together and work at addressing the region's common challenges.
"This is not a political party," said Taita Taveta Governor, John Mruttu adding that the region's developmental challenges require a common approach.
Mombasa Governor Hassan Ali Joho said the region is now facing a sagging economy, insecurity, youth radicalisation, drug abuse and other challenges that require unity among leaders "without regard to political affiliations".
"This is not a political contest and we are willing to engage with any leader who seeks clarification of our agenda," he said.
Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya said JKP is "a historic reawakening" that must not be allowed to collapse.
"There are those waiting for us to fail but residents will not allow us. As leaders, we do not want to engage in issues that will divide or distract us," Mvurya said adding that JKP now has the support of residents across the six coastal counties.
Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi described JKP as "a walk to freedom" that must not be derailed by propaganda and opposition.
"Come, let us reason together. Coast is bigger than any of us," Kingi said adding that JKP's critics have most likely not understood its
doctrine or its socio-economic goals.
Yesterday's meeting was convened to update county assembly members and executives on JKP's progress and to seek their support in promoting its ideals.
Delegates also discussed a draft bill that will be passed in the six county assemblies to entrench JKP.
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