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Communist party joins coastal coalition talks

COAST
By Renson Mnyamwezi | July 20th 2021
Mombasa County Governor Hassan Joho (right) and Kilifi's Amason Jeffa Kingi, both who have declared their presidential bids in the 2022 elections. [Omondi Onyango, Standard]

The push to establish a coalition of political parties at the Coast ahead of the 2022 elections has received a boost after the Communist Party of Kenya (CPK) joined the movement.

The five parties have also established two caucuses dubbed Coast Political Parties’ Convention (CPPC) and Coast Integrated Development Initiative (CIDI) to accelerate the unity talks.

CPPC will deal with the political agenda while CIDI will handle the economic and social agenda of the region. This is expected to lead to the amalgamation of the five parties’ plans and aspirations.

On Sunday, the leaders of five Coast-based parties met in Voi where they declared that efforts to unite the region had gained momentum.

“We are currently mobilising and organising local communities to defend their rights to land and natural resources,” said CIDI chairman Bernard Haura.

He said successive governments have failed to address issues affecting the Coast thus a need for the region to unite to talk in one voice to eradicate poverty, unemployment and landlessness.

The leaders were drawn from Shirikisho Party of Kenya, Kadu-Asili Party, Umoja Summit Party of Kenya, Republican Congress Party, and CPK.

Early this year, Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi attempted to take over the fringe parties and turn them into his political vehicle ahead of the next polls, but the party leaders rejected a merger plan in favour of a coalition.

At the weekend, the party leaders decried what they called systemic marginalising of the coastal community by successive regimes.

Other issues that prominently featured during the meeting included high poverty and unemployment levels and human rights violation.

Speaking after a two-day consultative meeting in Voi town, the leaders said the union with CPK marks the strengthening of the united political coalition in the region ahead of 2022 polls.

Mr Haura said the launch of the united political front was the beginning of the roadmap towards the 2022 General Election.

He said bringing locals together will help provide an alternative leadership to aggressively fight for land rights, squatter menace, high poverty, and unemployment and to protect natural resources that have been benefiting outsiders at the expense of locals.

CPK national vice-chairman Buka Ngesa Omole said the partnership of the political parties would help the leaders advance the coastal people’s agenda.

He claimed residents of the coast were victims of historical land injustices and alienation by successive governments.

Omole further said they were perturbed by the rising human rights violations in the region.

He claimed 80 per cent of the local population has no land rights, which had greatly complicated the squatter menace and aggravated poverty and unemployment.

At the same time, the leaders opposed plans to privatise the port of Mombasa.

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