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Amason Kingi's big gamble in bid to end ODM dominance

By Bernard Sanga | May 15th 2022 | 3 min read
PAA party leader Amason Kingi addresses the media at the DP William Ruto's residence after he officially joined Kenya Kwanza on May 10, 2022. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]

On Friday, Kilifi Governor Amason Jefwa Kingi started campaigns to end ODM’s 15-year dominance in the Coast, a task political analysts said other leaders had tried.

Kingi is also fighting claims that Pamoja Africa Alliance (PAA) had been swallowed by the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) and assured aspirants on its ticket of an equal chance within the Kenya Kwanza Alliance.

“PAA has not joined UDA. UDA and PAA are equal partners with seats at the national table under the Kenya Kwanza Alliance,” Kingi said on Friday during a meeting with delegates and aspirants.

Kingi has hailed his political maneuvers as efforts to liberate the Coast from ODM but critics are drawing parallels with events of 2007 when Shirikisho Party tried to challenge the Orange party.

A few months to the 2007 elections, the then ministers Morris Dzoro and Chirau Ali Mwakwere defected from the Party of National Unity to revive Shirikisho.

In the run up to the 2017 election, the former Kilifi North MP Gideon Mung’aro also defected from ODM to contest on Jubilee Party and lost.

This year, Mwakwere is contesting for Kwale governor seat on a Wiper ticket while Mung’aro wants the Kilifi governor seat on ODM ticket.

Pwani University lecture Hassan Mwakimako said Kingi’s decision to join KKA was premature adding that PAA should have fought to win elective seats and negotiate for a post-election coalition deal.

“Kingi is headed to political oblivion. He does not want to toil to build and market the party and that is why he made an individualistic decision that will cost him and PAA aspirants in Kilifi,” said Mwakimako.

He said that PAA does not have the financial muscle to compete against UDA in Kilifi or Coast adding that the two outfits will divide their votes and make it easy for ODM to win most seats in Kilifi.

“I do not expect UDA leaders like Aisha Jumwa to allow PAA aspirants to even come near the podium whenever Deputy President William Ruto tours the Coast. We saw what happened with George Kithi,” said Mwakimako.

During the unveiling of the political pact between the two parties, Kithi who is the PAA aspirant for the Kilifi governor seat was stopped from standing next to Ruto, while his competitor, Ms Jumwa, was allowed.

Yesterday, Kithi said PAA will gain traction because it espouses the issues that affect the Coast. He said it was time for the Coast to have it’s own political outfit  like other regions.

He however said that PAA leaders will not entertain ultimatums or threats from anybody just because they have joined Kenya Kwanza Alliance.

“Nyanza has ODM, Rift Valley has UDA and Coast must also have PAA. We will not fear threats of arrest just because we have joined Kenya Kwanza,” said Kithi in reference to reports that some PAA leaders were being investigated for corruption-related offenses.

Ganze MP Teddy Mwambire, who is also the ODM Kilifi branch chair, said it will be impossible for PAA to penetrate Kilifi.

He said he does not expect Ruto to finance PAA and UDA activities in Kilifi and that the “aspirants allied to Kingi should brace for a fight with UDA and ODM.”

In the meeting with delegates, Kingi said he decided to join Ruto after Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Alliance presidential nominee Raila Odinga refused to sign an agreement detailing his plans for the Coast people. 

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