By Mwakwaya Raymond
The recently formed Pamoja African Alliance (PAA) has embarked on a frantic search for political candidates to field in various elective positions in the August 2022 general elections.
As the party is yet to be widely known in all parts of Kenya, its officials led by the Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi have huge task to convince aspirants and electorate alike that PAA is a worthwhile political vehicle.
Kingi, the party leader, prays that Kenyans and specially those in the coast region, where the party is rooted, would embrace it.
The party has lately suffered a drawback after some aspirants who had shown interests to use it as their vehicle changed mind or failed to rhyme with the party leadership.
Sources privy to the party leadership which sought anonymity say the Kingi’s PAA lost its popularity when he declared that he would support ODM leader Raila Odinga in the August general elections.
“Many people didn’t buy the idea of joining ODM as he had already declared publicly that he would not support Baba,” said the source.
Likewise several candidates also changed their stands as the electorate had shifted their loyalty to other parties, added the source.
In Kilifi, all pointers were that Speaker Jimmy Kahindi would be the sole flag bearer of the Governor’s bid, but then he has fallen out with leadership making PAA to seek another aspirant for that post.
Those interviewed by The Coast Media Group claim Kahindi is being fronted by a section of MCA’s who do not command any majority in their backyard, which is what allegedly prompted Kingi to scuttle the bid.
A section of professionals from Coast Professionals Forum (CPF) claim MCA’s failed to hold Kingi accountable for the billions of public money he received since the inception of the Devolution.
“Kilifi, Turkana and Nairobi receive the highest amount of money from the National government, ask Kingi to tell us who is eating Kilifi money,” one of the Professionals fumed.
“About 13 billions every year for ten years now. And with all this cash, people are still starving!” he posed.
The said Professional pointed out that besides government budgets, there are many NGOs and Community Based Organizations and not to forget other disbursement programs for youth, women and the elderly.
The professional who currently serves as a CEC in one of the counties said problems addicting Kilifi and other places have nothing to do with lack of funding.
Kahindi has been at the helm of the County Assembly for the ten years now and no single motion was tabled by any MCA to question how Kingi administration has appropriated the public funds.
Most MCA’s who were reached for comment did not want to comment on Kingi’s performance but rather chose to stick to political affairs.
Peter Ziro from Garashi said all parties have followers be it Orange Democratic party ODM, United Democratic Alliance UDA or Pamoja African Alliance PAA.
Sabaki MCA Mr Edward Delle said he’s in talks with Kingi to see how his people would benefit from the PAA Party.
“We shall be able to know soon who supports who because the constitution demands that sometimes this month we declared our party affiliations,” added the outspoken MCA Peter Ziro.
Recent reports indicate that PAA is trying to woo advocate George Kithi who has so far declared his interest in the senatorial seat.
Several analysts say Kithi is also not a sure bet for the Kilifi Chief seat as many cite the earlier Memorandum signed between Giriama’s and Chonyi’s on who should govern first.
Generally the MOU touched on negotiated democracy between the two communities that saw Kingi as a Giriama stay at the helm for ten years hence relinquish power to a Chonyi, come 2022.
Kenga Daniel by then Ganze vice Chairman ODM indeed confirmed that there were such talks though not formalized in writing.
“I attended several talks on this issue held in different hotels within Kilifi, and it’s true Stewart Madzayo whose now the senator agreed to rally the Chonyi Community in support of Kingi, a Giriama for the gubernatorial seat as Kingi reciprocates by supporting Madzayo for the senatorial seat.
They agreed to change this come next general elections thus 2022 where Giriama’s will back the Chonyi’s for the high office in the County,” said Kenga over the phone.
Others who attended the talks are the late Mrs Beatrice Mwaka Mwaringa who was the secretary, Mumba Kulo, Rev Mbitha representatives of Kaya and the church respectively, former MCA Dr Silas Chidimbwi Mzungu and Runya Ngamba who was the Chairman of the Chonyi Council of elders, among others.
Already the Chonyi Community has identified Emmanuel Kombe Nzai to take up the mantle from Kingi. Nzai has undergone all the endorsement by the Chonyi Council of Elders, said Mr Patrick Rasi the Chairman of the council.
Kaya Elders Voice
Last week Nzai visited Kayafungo to appraise the Kaya elders on his endorsement program.
He was kept waiting for over three hours as PAA Coordinator Lucas Baya Maitha was already in talks with the Kaya elders who had gone to book an appointment for governor Kingi.
Kingi wants Kaya elders to intervene and help him convince Coast People to embrace his party.
Kingi was reported to have visited the Kaya the following day which was Thursday and promised a busket of goodies to the Kaya elders among them constructing nine houses for all the Mijikenda sub tribes at a cost of one million shillings besides meeting their other demands.
Malindi District Cultural Association (MADICA) secretary General Joseph Karisa Mwarandu says if there were any prior arrangements or talks between the two communities then it’s now right to honor them.
Mr Mwarandu said: “Mijikendas have their way of helping each other when it comes to communial work which they call ‘MWERYA’. Locals gather at one particular place or most likely shamba work together and the sequence goes on untill all in the group are reached for the same service.
“I see this arrangement like the mwerya within the Mijikenda Community, and, if it’s so, then we Giriama’s have a debt to pay by supporting a Chonyi to ascend to the highest office in the County.”
Mwarandu was accompanied by Mr Nzai in the meeting with Kaya elders at Kayafungo.
Already the Kilifi gubernatorial race is crowded with several Giriama’s in the race. Malindi MP Aisha Juma, CAS Gideon Mun’garo, County Assembly speaker Jimmy Kahindi as well as Ambassador Dan Kazungu who is contemplating vying are all from the Giriama Community.
Analysists say likelihood of a Giriama clinching the seat is very minimal, as they will split the votes amongst themselves.