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Governor Amason Kingi declares support for Raila's bid

Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi with ODM leader Raila Odinga during BBI meeting at Wildwaters, Mombasa, January 2020. [Omondi Onyango, Standard]

Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi says his Pamoja African Alliance (PAA) will support ODM leader Raila Odinga for president in 2022.

Kingi, who met women leaders in Malindi, said all he wanted was to leave behind a legacy as the person who championed the political unity of the Coast.

“The alliance will not field a presidential candidate in 2022 but will back Raila Odinga. What we want is that we support him under our own party. My aim is to leave a legacy as the leaders who championed political unity of the Coast,” he said.

The second-term governor, however, said many leaders and his supporters were criticising him for his Coast unity push but said he will not back out. 

“We want to be partners in the next government and not followers. For the longest time, we have been in houses elsewhere. It is our time to own our house,” he said.

Governor Kingi lost his position as the Kilifi County ODM chairman after he refused to abandon his plan to form the Coast-based political party five months ago.

Ganze MP Teddy Mwambire replaced him as the party kingpin in the region. The governor has skipped Raila’s rallies in Coast since his dismissal from the party slot.

He has been in a dilemma as he popularises PAA in the region. Deputy President William Ruto has ruled out the formation of a coalition between UDA and other parties and ODM leaders do want him to field candidates against the Orange party.

Questions have been raised over whether Governor Kingi who helped propel ODM to victory in 2013 and 2017 in Kilifi County was headed for the One Kenya Alliance (OKA) or if he would lead PAA, which was only registered on October 18, into becoming a political force.

Last week, Kingi launched the PAA youth league and promised to match across at least 35 counties to popularise the alliance. 

Meanwhile, Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya, who like Kingi is set to leave office next year, appears to have gone back to DP Ruto’s camp.

DP William Ruto (right) with Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya during the burial of Sada Mgala at Kazandani, Kwale County. August 2021. [Omondi Onyango, Standard]

On October 27, Mvurya played host to the DP at Kinango in Kwale County during the launch of the Duruma Bible and declared support for Dr Ruto.

Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho, Lamu’s Fahim Twaha, Dhadho Godhana (Tana River) and Granton Samboja of Taita Taveta have stuck with Raila.

Yesterday, PAA chairman Ibrahim Khamis alias Babangida said the party leadership was focused on popularising the outfit ahead of its planned launch in January next year.

“We have started preparations to launch the party in January next year. We have not discussed a coalition and that decision will be taken much later,” Babangida said, giving an indication that Governor Kingi was still pondering his next political move. 

Babandida and PAA secretary Ben Furaha are allies of Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala.

Shimo La Tewa MCA and Kingi ally Sammy Ndago said Raila would be PAA’s preferred hopeful although the new outfit plans to field its own candidates for the other seats.