By Mwakera Mwajefa
Campaigns for the Nasa presidential candidate Raila Odinga and his running mate Kalonzo Musyoka are threatened with derailment if the Nasa coalition fails to address political demands made by seven newly-elected ODM legislators who want either Governor Hassan Joho (Mombasa) or Amason Kingi (Kilifi) made a coalition principal.
In a candid interview with the Coast Newspaper Reporter, one of the MPs questioned why the region was being taken for granted when it had more elected party members compared to other regions.
“The times of hewallah bwana are long gone and now it is – scratch my back I scratch yours! Either the Nasa coalition appoints Hassan Joho or Amason Kingi principal or forget about us campaigning for the October 17 presidential re-run,” warned the legislator who pleaded for anonymity.
Apart from this, the ODM legislators are not happy of being ‘slapped’ with Sh200,000 for first-timers and Sh500,000 for second-timers saying most of them are wallowing in debts from the grueling August 8th polls.
This notwithstanding the legislator, according to him, is required to foot the bill of the Nasa candidates when they visit your jurisdiction in search of votes making it a very expensive affair.
“Imagine we have not yet even received our first salaries but already somebody is budgeting for it without the courtesy of involving you in the decisionmaking,” the first-timer MP lamented.
Elected leaders and their campaign teams are also up on arms against Orange House in Nairobi for ‘imposing’ four MCAs nominees as nominated members of the Kilifi County Assembly without their involvement.
A source told this writer the elected leaders are at pains to explain how and why ‘outsiders’ had been given four out of the 14 slots while the locals have been left out of the matrix.
“Four names have been sent from ODM headquarters to be included in the nomination list with total disregard of our promise to our campaign teams of benefiting from such appointments,” the source decried.
On Tuesday evening (September 5), seven Kilifi County MPs called on the Nasa principals include one of their own among them arguing that their preferred luminaries – Hassan Joho (Mombasa) or Amason Kingi (Kilifi) – had delivered in the just concluded elections.
Flanked by Aisha Jumwa (Malindi), William Kamoti (Rabai), Paul Katana (Kaloleni), Teddy Mwambire (Ganze), Michael Kingi (Magarini) and Gertrude Mbeyu (Woman representative),
Kilifi North MP Owen Baya questioned why the region lacked a principal while it had delivered to Nasa coalition.
In a press conference at the governor’s official residence in Kilifi Township, the legislators said it was high time one of the two governors was named a principal in the coalition.
“We appreciate the principals bringing on board other principals as they did with PNU’s Peter Munya but as Kilifi people and in Coast as a whole we say that Governor Joho or Kingi muts be part of the team called principals,” Mr Baya said adding that the two have added more value to Nasa than all the other principals combined.
As such, the MPs demanded that one of their own be included in Nasa top organ claiming the two individuals are not only acceptable locally but also nationally due to their political contribution for this country.
They want this demand to be meant immediately so that as they campaign in the re-run for the presidential election they can tell their supporters and Coast people that they have stakes in the Nasa fraternity.
Kaloleni MP Katana noted that former Meru governor just joined the coalition the other day and was named a principal while Mr Joho and Mr Kingi have marshalled votes for ODM leader in 2013 and 2017 respectively.
“Their tough stand for Nasa and Odinga has led them into altercations with President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Jubilee government,” he said adding that their supporters were asking them why they were being ‘sidelined’ in Nasa hierarchy.
His Rabai counterpart Mr Kamoti complained that they have shown their allegiance to Cord since its formation and had campaigned for it but the region was yet to benefit from this sacrifice.
According to him they aired these concerns to Cord and now Nasa but to their chagrin and shock people are coming to the coalition with ‘empty’ political parties and named principals while ‘ignoring leaders who have brought votes to Mr Odinga and Nasa in general’.
In her view, Malindi MP Jumwa claimed the entry of Mr Munya to Nasa was not adding any value at the moment reiterating that the recent move has only managed to anger Nasa supporters whom she warned would no longer keep quiet.
“It’s no secret that Kingi and Joho delivered votes for Odinga and the country knows their efforts. What is surprising use is that a person is joining the coalition today and is named a principal only because they own a political party! Do we need empty political parties that add no value to Nasa or people who deliver votes to Nasa?” she posed.
Efforts to get a comment from ODM deputy leader Joho were fruitless as he declined to answer his phone or respond to text message on his mobile phone.
Contacted for comments over this new development, two political analysts Bozo Jenje and Philip Mbaji from Technical University of Mombasa say that is the ‘price to pay’ when you ride on somebody’s political vehicle.
“The Kilifi leadership has no option but to play ball after getting their positions through ODM! They cannot turn round and start making demands that they know are at the discretion of their party leader,” says Mr Jenje.
In his view, the region is handicapped by the factor that the majority of those who vote during general elections are mostly from upcountry especially in urban areas of the region.
“Both Mombasa and Kilifi counties got their big chunk of votes from upcountry people living there so the elected leaders have no locus standi to demand for anything period!” he said.
After benefiting from Raila Odinga’s political demeanuor, Mr Mbaji said the elected Kilifi leadership should stop issuing ‘unrealistic demands’ that show their ignorance of realpolitik that define Kenya’s politics.
“Either they toy the line or they ship out instead of making fools of themselves through demands that they can sorted out internally rather publicly within their party ranks and files,” he added.
For region to survive future political realignments, according to him, there is need to form a formidable political party that will carry all the coastal people as one unified front and voice for posterity saying 2022 is beckoning.