Deputy President William Ruto has yet again clashed with Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi over a plan by the latter to form a Coast-based party.
On Tuesday, the DP told Kingi to abandon the plan and join him in building United Democratic Alliance (UDA) ahead of next year's polls.
Kingi rejected the overtures, saying UDA belongs to the DP, and Coast leaders who have joined the party were guests and they would be ejected in the future. He said UDA would not serve the interests of the people of the Coast.
“I am not in UDA yet. I'm the Jubilee deputy party leader, and Coast MPs working with me like Dalu Tayari (Kinango) and Aisha Jumwa (Malindi) are in ODM. I am asking everyone to come aboard the hustler movement and ensure a united country,” Ruto told the governor.
The two leaders clashed at the burial of Sada Mgala, mother of Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya, at Mavirivirini-Kadzandani in Kwale on Tuesday evening. Mama Sada, 76, succumbed to oesophageal cancer at Diani Beach Hospital.
Kingi told Msambweni MP Feisal Bader, Taita Taveta County Women Rep Lydia Tayari and Jumwa to join him to form a political party that will advance the aspirations of the people of Coast e and negotiate power with leaders from other regions.
“What is it that stops us from sinking our borehole and join others who have their boreholes? It is a risk to go to somebody else’s borehole to beg for water. You might be denied the water or be asked to wait until the owner has had enough of it,” Kingi argued. “You complained in your current political parties that you were given a raw deal, but I tell you if it is only Ruto’s party, the narrative will be the same,” he added.
Kingi invited Ruto allies and other elected leaders from Coast to join him in forming a formidable political vehicle in the region, saying it will earn them respect.
In March this year, Kingi rejected the advice of ODM leader Raila Odinga to abandon the plan to form a Coast party.
He told Raila that it was wrong for him to claim that such a move threatened national unity, and that Coast should be left alone to chart its political destiny.
Last Sunday, Kingi’s allies said they were determined to go to the next election with a new party for Coast, although it will not field a presidential candidate.
MCAs Sammy Ndago (Shimo la Tewa), Gilbert Peru (Sokoni) and John Mwamutsi (Kibarani) said they would not be intimidated for supporting plans for a local party.
Mr Ndago said the region would continue supporting Raila but outside the Orange party.
“We still love Baba (Raila), but we have our way as a region. From September, we shall tell our people the political direction they will follow,” Ndago said.
Kingi was recently stripped of his Kilifi ODM chairmanship following his persistent push for a political party from the Coast. Ganze MP Teddy Mwambire replaced him.
Kingi is associated with Pamoja Alliance (PAA) which is to be launched next month.
He recently held a meeting with Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi, Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka and Ford Kenya leader Moses Wetang'ula at a Mombasa hotel, raising eyebrows.
Jumwa, Tayari Feisal and Haika, however, urged Kingi to participate in building UDA.
“Leaders of various political parties were recently invited to State House Mombasa, but those of Coast parties were left out. Governor Kingi should join us and work with Governor Mvurya. You should not wait for others to plan the next government for us,” Jumwa said.
Tayari urged Kingi to be part of the change. “We stand by Ruto, and we urge you to do so.”
Bader said Coast residents want to be in the next government, and that was why elected leaders from the region had joined the DP.
“We will support you DP because of walking with us. We urge you to work closely with Governor Mvurya,” he said.
Ruto said Mvurya was a friend and political ally since 2017.
The DP said he had the interest of every Kenyan at heart and would not shortchange leaders from other regions once elected president.
“When there was a debate on the allocation of revenue to the counties, Kwale County was to be denied Sh1 billion, but I ensured it got its share.”