Kaya elders anoint UDA politician Hamisi Kitaka to push for Mijikenda unity

Ali Hamisi Kitaka (right) addresses UDA members at the party's offices in Mombasa in October 2022. [File, Standard]

Digo Kaya elders in Mombasa county have installed United Democratic Alliance (UDA) politician Ali Hamisi Kitaka to champion for unity and community interests.

The traditional leaders from the Mijikenda community led by Mijikenda Kaya Elders Association Coast chairman Mwinyi Mgwisho installed Kitaka in an elaborate ceremony at Shelly Beach in Likoni sub-county.

The elders said they had 'blessed and ordained' Kitaka to push for the community agenda at the county and national level.

The elders said a political 'kingpin' was crucial if Coast region was to realise meaningful development.

The elders also asked Mr Kitaka to pursue the issue of landlessness in the region to ensure that residents have stable land tenure.

They called for unity of the coastal communities to ensure that they benefit from the Kenya Kwanza administration.

Mgwisho said the Digo held consultations after the August 9, 2022, General Election before settling on Kitaka to champion unity and community interests.

He gave Kitaka the green light to contest for the UDA Mombasa county chairman during the grassroots party polls slated for next month.

"We have blessed Kitaka and encouraged him to be a courageous politician who will push for community interests," he said, adding that the Mijikenda Kaya elders have embarked on pushing for coastal unity.

Mgwisho asked the Mijikenda to rally behind the Kaya cultural association saying they need to unite to be fully involved in the affairs of county and national governments.

He said the culturally significant elders' caucus has thrown its weight behind the Kitaka as Mombasa UDA chairman.

Dressed in traditional regalia and ornaments, the UDA politician thanked the elders for the confidence they have in him and promised not to disappoint them in championing the rights of the people in the region.

He said that he will ensure residents benefit from national and county resources in the region.

Kitaka vowed to go for the UDA chairmanship and consolidate support for the party in Mombasa.

He promised to help the government fight against insecurity and drug and substance abuse among the youths to ensure peace and tranquillity in the region.

Kitaka also raised the red flag over the wanton grabbing of Kaya forests at the Coast and promised to work with other leaders to defend the sacred forests from invasion by tycoons.

He said kayas are public property reserved for cultural prayers and the government should protect them from extinction.

Kaya is a sacred forest of the Mijikenda people in the coastal region and declared a national monument by the National Museums of Kenya (NMK).

Mohamed Mwalimu Mwahima who was a UDA candidate for the Likoni parliamentary seat in the August 2022 polls welcomed the coronation of Kitaka and promised to rally leaders to support him to unite and champion the interests of the residents.

Mwanamsambweni Nasoro, a local woman leader said the coastal region needs servant leadership that would focus on the needs of the people.