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Joho, Kingi meeting fails to agree on Coast's 2022 plan

POLITICS
By Patrick Beja | February 3rd 2021

Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho with Kilifi’s Amason Kingi in Kilifi County. [File, Standard]

Factions allied to Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho and Kilifi's Amason Kingi have failed to agree on whether they should form a Coast political party, remain in ODM or seek new alliances ahead of 2022 polls.

In a closed-door meeting held in Nyali on Monday, the two leaders, however, agreed on the need to ring-fence the political turf and end hostility between different factions in the region.

To that end, the second meeting of all the six governors in the Coast has been scheduled for February 9 in Voi, followed by another of all elected leaders on February 20.

Sources who attended the five-hour meeting described it as stormy but constructive, adding that the two governors were criticised for failing to lead the region and holding hardline stands.

"We were categorical that we cannot be ordered to follow or not to follow someone. We must consult with our people before taking such decisions," said an MP who attended the meeting.

“It was agreed that there will be a meeting of governors in Voi to continue with the conversation that started in the Monday meeting.”

However, it is not clear whether Lamu Governor Fahim Twaha and his Kwale counterpart Salim Mvurya will attend the next meeting.

Both are allies of Deputy President William Ruto and have stayed away from Joho and Kingi.

On the other hand, Tana River Governor Dhadho Godhana of ODM and Taita Taveta's Granton Samboja of Wiper are allied to Joho and are expected to attend the February 9 meeting.

Some 20 elected leaders who attended the Monday meeting have remained tight-lipped on the resolutions.

Ganze MP Teddy Mwambire said the media was not invited for the initial consultative forum because they were laying the ground for further meetings and did not want to preempt the plans.

“We are consulting silently as for now. That is why we did not want to engage you at this stage. When we begin consulting loudly, we will call you,” said Mr Mwambire.

At the same time, reports indicated yesterday that Dr Ruto was expected in Kwale County this Thursday, about a month since his last visit.

He will launch National Government Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF) projects in Kinango and Lunga Lunga constituencies, where he will be hosted by MPs Benjamin Tayari and Khatib Mwashetani, respectively.

Mr Mwashetani yesterday confirmed Ruto’s Kwale tour through social media. 

The DP’s allies have dismissed efforts by Joho and Kingi to unite the Coast, saying the two are partisan and cannot bring together the residents.

Mr Tayari said the meeting would yield nothing, noting that his group had earlier invited the two governors and their allies to come on board Kadu-Asili, but they declined.

He said the groups allied to the two governors accused the MPs seeking to join Kadu-Asili of hijacking it in a bid to scuttle their plans.

“We were not invited to the meeting today, but we are not worried because we are set. It is a fake plan after they declined an invitation to join Kadu-Asili, and later accused us of hijacking it,” he said.

The legislator said the Ruto team was pursuing other plans and was not interested in the meetings led by Joho and Kingi.

Nyali MP Mohammed Ali told KTN yesterday that the meeting was being attended by Coast elected leaders belonging to only one faction and hence would not unite the region.

“This is only one political faction and cannot achieve unity of this region. We were not invited and we are not interested in that meeting,” he said.

Other allies of the DP at the Coast are MPs Aisha Jumwa (Malindi), Owen Baya (Kilifi North), Bader Feisal (Msambweni), Athman Shariff (Lamu East), Naomi Shaban (Taveta), Lydia Haika (Taita Taveta Woman Rep), Rehema Hassan (Tana River Woman Rep) and Kaloleni MP Paul Katana.

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