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Political rift at Coast grows in push for referendum vote

By Tobias Chanji | September 29th 2014
A man who attempted to create some chaos at a public rally organized by CORD leaders in Mombasa who are allied to the Okoa Kenya Referendum at Junda village in Ksauni.

The photograph of a man cowering in fear as goons attacked him with wooden planks and stones could have been mistaken for a suspected thief's lynching.

His only crime being that he held a political view different from that of his attackers. The incident occurred on September 6 when the opponent of the referendum was attacked in Kisauni Constituency, Mombasa County after he chanted slogans against the vote.

Pro-referendum residents, attending a rally organised by Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho and Senator Hassan Omar, descended on the youth who shouted at the leaders demanding to know how the county had spent its allocation from the national government before demanding for funds.

The youth, who was badly hurt, was rescued by a county assembly member before being rushed out of the function.

In Kwale, on September 21, pro-referendum youths burnt the effigy of National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale at Ukunda bus station, accusing him of "disrespecting Coast leaders supporting the referendum".

The youths said they were angered by Duale's sentiments that a section of Coast leaders supporting the referendum were involved in land grabbing in the region. Duale reportedly said this during a fund drive for the construction of a madrassa in Lunga Lunga Constituency.

The youths, attending a pro-referendum rally organised by a section of Kwale leaders including nominated senator Dr Agnes Zani, Senator Boy Juma Boy and Matuga MP Hassan Mwanyoa warned Duale against setting foot in Kwale.

"Duale cannot come here and unite with the rebels in bashing our leaders. We want all those that have gone against the party agenda to walk out or get kicked out," said Tiwi ward representative Omar Mwakwambirizwa.

In Kilifi on Sunday, youths perceived to be allied to Watamu ward rep Ibrahim Matumbo stormed Governor Kingi's function. Matumbo is allied to Kilifi North MP Gideon Mung'aro, who is opposed to the push for a referendum.

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