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Monday, May 10, 2021

DP Ruto humbled as Coast rejects formation of new political party

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United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party associated with Deputy President William Ruto has received a major setback after a section of Coast leaders ruled out the formation of a political party.

Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi (ODM) Tuesday ruled out the formation of a new political party for the Coast region ahead of the 2022 General Elections.

Instead, Kingi opined that there is need to consolidate the existing political parties and come up with a formidable coalition that will drive the political and economic agenda of the region.

“The Coast region has several existing parties and forming a new one will complicate the quest for unity within the region. Forming a new party will create more divisions and that is why we do not want to bring in a new party, but we shall instead begin a process of uniting the existing parties,” he said.

Kingi made the remarks after launching a Sh60 million road project in Mariakani Ward within Kaloleni Sub County.

However, Kingi seems to have made an about turn on his earlier announcement to the effect that they would unveil a new political party for the region before June this year.

Kingi’s and his Mombasa counterpart Hassan Joho’s stance on coast party have earned the wrath of Kilifi North Member of Parliament Owen Baya, who said the two leaders’ main agenda was to scuttle his plan to register a new political outfit for the region.

Parties that have roots in the region include Kadu Asili, Shirikisho, Republican Congress and Umoja Summit, but their performance has not been very impressive as most influential politicians in the region have used parties from other regions to ascend to power.

In the 2017 elections, Joho and Kingi and a host of Members of Parliament were elected on the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party while others were elected through parties that were in coalition with the now fractious Jubilee Party.

Kingi argues that the main aim of consolidating the existing parties was to have an umbrella coalition of parties with roots in the region so as to have a strong political vehicle that will act as a bargaining tool with larger parties in the country.

“Our aim is to have a political vehicle that will deal with issues affecting the Coast people, and that can reach sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with other parties and be able to bargain and for the rights and aspirations of the coastal people,” he said.

The Kilifi kingpin criticized the formation UDA party, arguing that the party did not have the interests of the Coast region and urged residents to reject it.

“UDA is a party with its own agenda and candidates and does not have any plans of uniting the people, let alone having the interests of our region,” he said. “I urge our people to reject the ‘hustler’ movement as it does not mean well for our us.”

Kingi at the same time urged Coast residents to support the constitutional amendment bill fronted under the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) saying the proposal to increase the sharable revenue to counties from the current 15 percent to 35 percent would boost the region’s development.

He said under the new changes, which also propose the formation of an additional four constituencies in Kilifi County would enable the county to get an additional Sh10 billion in sharable revenue as well as more money from the National Government Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF).

”Ruto was here over the weekend and told the residents of Kilifi county to reject the billions and take a wheelbarrow. Stop following politicians but stand with the truth,” he said.

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