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Raila, Kalonzo meet over breakfast

Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka speaking with ODM's Raila Odinga after a meeting at a city hotel in 2016. [Beverlyne Musili, Standard]

As a pointer to a possible development in the current wave of political horse-trading, ODM leader Raila Odinga and Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka held a brief meeting over breakfast in Mombasa today.

Business dispensed with, they went separate political rallies in the coastal county.

"Yes, before the interview [with the press] they excused themselves and held a breakfast meeting for close to ten minutes. No one was allowed to take pictures," said the source who described the meeting as cordial

In a TV interview, Kalonzo said he met Raila and wished him well with his rallies at the Coast. He said Wiper would field candidates in some constituencies.

"We will come together (with Azimio la Umoja) after studying their agenda to establish if it is the same as ours. They are the ones that will join us," said Kalonzo.

Later in the day at the Tononoka Grounds, Raila said Azimio la Umoja could consider zoning of the country to enable each outfit in its coalition arrangements to ring-fence its strongholds.

He said ODM would delay its primaries until all outfits keen to join the Azimio have signed a political pact and agreed on how to approach the election.

“We do not want a situation where we compete and divide our votes which will enable the rival party to win the seats. We will have to wait until we have signed a coalition agreement,” he said.

Kalonzo and other One Kenya Alliance principals Gideon Moi and Martha Karua addressed a rally at Kadongo Grounds in Kisauni.

In an interview with a local TV station, Raila and Kalonzo said they were ready to work together but the arrangement had to be agreed on and a pact signed.

“They can also join us. We will have to agree on our agenda and the working arrangement written down,” said Kalonzo during the interview at Tamarind Village in Mombasa.

Meanwhile, at the Tononoka Grounds Raila said his administration will review the operations of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) which some quarters have blamed for Mombasa’s economic woes.

Raila said he would make Mombasa a free port and accelerate the establishment of the Dongo Kundu economic zone.

ODM leader Raila Odiga in Tononoka, Mombasa. He said Azimio la Umoja could consider zoning of the country. [Kelvin Karani, Standard]

Outlining his agenda for the region, Raila also said he will revive the collapsed factories in the region and establish firms in Mombasa to create value addition for agricultural produce.

He said the value addition would be crucial in his “smart farming” and “buy Kenya build Kenya agenda. This, he said, will create clean jobs and wealth for the Coast people.

Raila who is on a four-day tour of the Coast region to consolidate his support base declared that under his administration the economy will grow by over 10 per cent.

“We will relook the SGR issue and turn Mombasa into a free port to spur the economic growth of the Coast and create jobs for the millions of the youth in the region,” said Raila.

Coast leaders and traders blame the State policy that stipulates that all Nairobi-bound containers should be transported by the SGR for the near-collapse of the logistics sector in Mombasa.

A study by the University of Nairobi established that has led to layoffs and a drop in revenue for Mombasa County Government

Meanwhile, the ODM leader launched a broadside against Deputy President William Ruto whom he accused of making empty promises to hoodwink the public.

“He promised us laptops, modern stadia in all the counties and the creation of one million jobs in a year which he never delivered. He is now promising us four million jobs and yet he has not delivered the one million he promised,” said Raila.

 “Under my leadership I Kenya will, in the next 10 to 15 years, move from a middle-income nation to be a developed one,” said Raila who reiterated he will establish a social fund for the socially vulnerable Kenyans.

Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho said Coast will back Raila for the fourth time and “when he retires I’m the one who will take over the leadership of the country.”