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Raila Odinga: I knew Governor Amason Kingi was on his way out

Raila Odinga addressing a gathering at Galole in Tana River County on May 11, 2022. [Emmanuel Wanson, Standard]

Raila Odinga says Governor Amason Kingi’s exit from Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya coalition did not come as a surprise to him.

Kingi, whose party Pamoja African Alliance (PAA) was affiliated with Azimio, said, during his exit speech on Tuesday, that the Odinga-led coalition wanted to make it impossible for him to field candidates in Kilifi and other coastal counties.

At the same time, Kingi accused Azimio anchor parties ODM, Jubilee and Wiper of “operating in opaqueness and secrecy”.

PAA, consequently, joined the Kenya Kwanza coalition, which is led by Deputy President William Ruto.

Kingi, who has served as Kilifi governor for two terms on the ODM ticket, formed PAA Party in July 2021 after announcing his exit from the Odinga-led Party.

Raila Odinga now says he knew Kingi was on his way out of ODM when the governor “started talking about forming a coastal political party”.

“Mombasa Governor Ali Joho, Suna East MP Junet Mohamed and I spoke with him one evening last year, and he pledged to remain loyal to ODM. After staying for a short while, he started behaving like a person who is provoking you to divorce him or her,” Odinga said during a political address in Malindi, Kilifi County on Thursday, May 12.

“Kingi eventually asked to be divorced [from Azimio la Umoja], and we allowed him to join our opponents,” said the ODM boss.

Odinga says he helped Kingi launch his political career, but the governor chose to pay him back by betraying him.

“He is an ingrate. Nonetheless, let us put him to shame by ensuring that you vote for me as president come August 9.”

The former prime minister also took a swipe at Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa, whom he accuses of using him as a political ladder.

“After rising politically, she ditched me. Let her know that I’m the one who made her who she is today. She often says she knows how to whine her waist [politically]. I’m not interested in her.”

Aisha Jumwa was first elected to Parliament as the Woman Representative for Kilifi County on ODM ticket in the 2013 polls. In the subsequent election, she shifted her interest to the Malindi parliamentary seat, winning on an ODM ticket.

However, after the August 8, 2017 General Election, she ditched ODM and warmed up to Deputy President William Ruto’s United Democratic Alliance (UDA) Party.

In the August 9, 2022 polls, she will seek to succeed Amason Kingi as Kilifi governor on UDA ticket.

ODM has fielded former Devolution Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Gideon Mung’aro as Jumwa’s competitor. Mung’aro previously served as Kilifi North MP between 2013 and 2017 under the ODM ticket.

He ran for governor in 2017 under the Jubilee ticket but lost to the incumbent, Amason Kingi, of ODM.

Mung’aro rejoined ODM in November 2021 after stints as Lands and Devolution CAS in Uhuru’s government.

Raila Odinga, in his Malindi address, said he will soon unveil the Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya manifesto, which will be made available to Kenyans.

Raila asked Kilifi constituents to vote for Mung’aro as governor, Senator Stewart Madzayo in the same capacity (Senate), and lawmaker Gertrude Mbeyu as Woman Representative. All the aspirants are in ODM.

Kingi’s PAA says it will field lawyer George Kithi as the gubernatorial candidate.