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Kazungu Kambi defects to Kadu Asili to vie for Kilifi governor's post

By Jacob Ngetich | November 20th 2016
Former Labour Cabinet Secretary Kazungu Kambi. His entry into the race for the Kilifi governorship is expected to stir up political activity in the county whose leaders are currently at the centre of investigations over claims of fraud. (PHOTO: WILLIS AWANDU/ STANDARD)

Former Labour Cabinet Secretary Kazungu Kambi’s entry into the race for the Kilifi governorship is expected to stir up political activity in the county whose leaders are currently at the centre of investigations over claims of fraud.

Mr Kambi (pictured) has said he intends to vie under a Kadu Asili ticket to clean up the county’s administration as it emerged that more than Sh51 million of the county’s funds could have been stolen from its accounts and channelled to bank accounts of key suspects.

Last week, Kambi accused Governor Amason Kingi’s administration of abetting corruption. The former Kaloleni MP said that because of widespread graft, the people of Kilifi had been denied essential services. “Our people need water, roads, irrigation and health facilities,” said Kambi.
He noted that local people were agreed that Kadu Asili was the best political vehicle to use to seek the governorship.

“Residents advised me to vie for the seat on a Kadu Asili ticket because they feel this is an indigenous party — the one that best represents their aspirations,” he told Kilifi professionals at a Nairobi hotel last week.

It is expected that Kambi’s choice of political party will raise the profile of Kadu Asili which has strong roots in the coastal region and has lately been receiving defectors from other outfits. The party is led by Kaloleni MP Gunga Mwinga who is also the Coast Parliamentary Group chairman.

Party Secretary General Jimmy Ngala confirmed that Kambi and others had joined the party in recent weeks. Another notable politician now in the party is Malindi’s Sanga Barawa. Mr Barawa had in February claimed he had been rigged out in the Orange Democratic Movement nominations in favour of William Mtengo ahead of the March 7 Malindi parliamentary by-election. “I have decided to jump ship and join Kadu Asili. I feel that ODM is full and has no room for me,” he said.

“I believe I won the nomination but I was deliberately rigged out,” said Barawa who added that he would vie for the Malindi parliamentary seat next year if he is nominated by his new party.

Magarini politician Franscico Esposito alias Kasoso wa Baya has also decamped to Kadu Asili. The Kenyan-Italian plans to make his third attempt to secure the Magarini parliamentary seat, and recently attended a Kadu Asili retreat in Malindi that was attended by Kambi and top officials of the party . “I believe Kadu-Asili will be the party to beat in 2017,” said Esposito.

Kadu-Asili Information and Publicity Secretary Hassan M’mbetsa said Kambi is likely to face the TNA Kilifi gubernatorial candidate in 2013, Mr Michael Tinga, Kilifi Deputy Governor Kenneth Kamto and Prof Gabriel Katana during the party’s nominations.

Last week Kambi lost no time to highlight his development record when he served as MP and Cabinet Secretary in President Uhuru Kenyatta’s government.

“I have been strengthening grassroots support and will hit the campaign trail soon on a meet-the-people-tour in all wards of Kilifi.”

Kambi said he would work with other leaders, particularly those who are not comfortable in CORD or Jubilee, and the focus will be to boost education standards and health services.

“We will form a group that is true to the Coast people and that wants to change the lives of people in Kilifi,” said Kambi who dropped from Uhuru’s cabinet in 2015 in a graft  purge that cleared him of wrongdoing.

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