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ELECTION 2022

Amason Kingi’s party could complicate matters for William Ruto and Raila Odinga in polls

POLITICS
By Patrick Beja | Jan 26th 2022 | 3 min read
ODM Leader Raila Odinga, Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi and DP William Ruto. [File, Standard]

Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi’s Pamoja African Alliance (PAA) is slowly gaining ground.

Despite declaring support for Azimio la Umoja, Mr Kingi has been working behind the scenes to popularise PAA to take on ODM and UDA in the August 9 elections.

Kingi has 29 MCAs working closely with him as well as Magarini MP Michael Thoya and PAA governor aspirant George Kithi.

Political observers say although Kingi does not have a grip on other counties, he should not be wished away. Kingi, they argue, is keen to consolidate support in his backyard before moving to other regions.

Kingi and Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho have been influential ODM leaders at the Coast since 2007.

Political analyst Maimuna Mwidau noted yesterday that since Kingi delivered many seats for ODM in Kilifi in 2017, he was pivotal and worth having on your side.

“He has many MCAs in his camp and they are the first contact on the ground. If Kingi delivered for ODM, he can deliver for PAA. He can also deliver for any presidential candidate in Kilifi,” she argued.

She noted that Kingi was working with the same zeal he had in ODM except that he was in different ‘sportswear’ under PAA.

Ganze MP and Kilifi ODM chairman Teddy Mwambire claimed Kingi’s departure from the Orange party did not affect it.

“ODM has remained vibrant because Kingi moved to PAA with only a handful of friends at the county government. The party is intact and focused. He is a worried man because he has not shaken ODM,” Mwambire argued.

Pwani University lecturer Halim Shauri noted that Kingi was the man to watch as he seeks political relevance having served as Magarini MP, Cabinet minister, governor and spearheaded ODM politics.

“Kingi is looking for relevance in the next political dispensation and is likely to deliver seats for PAA. He wants to go to the negotiation table as a corporate as opposed to an individual and that is why he wants PAA to win many seats, particularly in Coast. Nobody can wish Kingi away,” Prof Shauri observed.

Hassan Mwakimako, however, noted that Kingi has concentrated more on Kilifi politics and that the move could be merely a tact to manage change of leadership in the county for his (Kingi’s) personal interests.

Prof Mwakimako said if Kingi wants to popularise PAA beyond Kilifi, he should come up with a clear agenda for the region and also venture into other counties.

“Kingi and PAA appear to concentrate much on Kilifi politics. If he is to popularise PAA, he should reach out to other counties and sell the party agenda and not personality,” he argued.

PAA was registered as a political party on October 18, last year.

Leaders seeking to succeed Kingi include Devolution Chief Administrative Secretary Gideon Mung’aro, Deputy Governor Gideon Saburi, County Assembly Speaker Jimmy Kahindi and Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa.

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