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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 23 November 2014

JOHO, BALALA RIVALRY PUNCTURE COASTAL PARTY DEAL, SHATTER DREAM

Vested political interests and political rivalry among coast politicians led to the collapse of the last week’s meeting whose main agenda was to unite the entire Coast region under one political party ahead of 2017 general elections.
The highly charged meeting at Swahili Beach in Diani, Kwale county was attended by all the six governors from the region, three senators and a number of MPs. The meeting has left the region bleeding politically than before.
We have information that the meeting ended up in disarray after Coast politicians clashed over the proposal for the formation of a regional political after it was discovered that some politicians had hijacked the idea and were keen on using it for their own selfish political gains. The idea of forming a regional bank is said to have also been dismissed by a section of those present.
Those opposed to the idea claimed that the proposal was backward and dismissed its proponents. According to sources who attended the meeting, at one stage, some MPs proposed that the Republican Congress Party be rebranded and popularised but it met stiff oppositions by some known to be sworn political enemies of Mining cabinet secretary Najib Balala. Balala does not get on well with Governor Hassan Joho and having his outfit unite the region is like political suicide for Joho.
It has also emerged that the man who has been spearheading the formation of a Coast party Kilifi North MP Gideon Mung’aro boycotted the meeting after he realised that ODM allied MPs had plotted to push the party’s agenda. Mung’aro is known to have been of the idea of using Balala’s party as a vehicle for all Coast politicians in 2017.
Apart from Mung’aro, six other MPs did not attend the meeting after they realised that Joho and Senator Hassan Omar had plotted to kill the dream of Coast-based party.
According to well-placed sources, it had been planned that had Mung’aro attended the meeting, the proposal would have been shot down to humiliate him and the rebel ODM MPs.
We have also established that to counter Mung’aro’s new party campaign, Cord loyalists from the region had plotted on a scheme to bring the region’s political leaders together under the leadership of Joho.
It is against such fears that Mung’aro and his team of rebel MPs held a secret meeting and agreed to skip the meeting for fear of humiliation, embarrassment and down dressing from ODM diehards.
After the proposal for formation of party was shot down, the leaders announced the formation of the Commonwealth of the Coast Counties, with a committee that will spearhead the region’s unity and economic development agenda.
The committee membership the leaders agree on will comprise Mr Joho, Governor Salim Mvurya (Kwale), Senator Abu Chaiba (Lamu) and Senator Abdi Bule (Tana River). Other members are Joyce Lay and Aisha Jumwa, women representatives of Taita Taveta and Kilifi counties respectively
Among the MPs who attended the meeting and supported the formation of the party was Lamu East MP Shariff Athuman.
Others who supported the formation of the party included Gunga Mwinga, Hassan Mwanyoha, Khatib Mwashetani and Mustafa Idd.
It has now emerged that Mung’aro’s idea of a Coast party was killed by some ODM sympathisers who felt its popularity in the Coast region is declining. ODM key players used political mechanisms to make sure the formation of new party agenda hit rocks.
Analysts now say that power struggle in the Coast ODM leadership is now threatening to split the party and is now slowly losing its popularity in a region where the party won two thirds of elective positions in the last general elections.
Joho is known to be the de facto Coast leader but has fallen out with a number of MPs including Abdulswamad Nassir (Mvita), Rashid Bedzimba (Kisauni), Awiti Bolo (Nyali) and Likoni’s Masoud Mwahima.
Others are Dan Kazungu of Malindi, Mwanyoha of Matuga, Iddi of Kilifi South, Jumwa women representative for Kilifi, Suleiman Dori of Msambweni, Mwashetani of Lunga Lunga, Mwinga of Kaloleni, Hari Kombe of Magarini, Zainab Chidzuga of Kwale and Jones Mlolwa of Voi.
But even as Joho feels the heat from section of MPs, he is said to be enjoying the backing of Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi. Both Joho and Kingi boast of having ensured ODM won majority seats in their respective counties in the last general elections. However ODM is not very strong in Lamu and Tana River counties.
In the entire Coast region, Cord took most national assembly, senate, gubernatorial and county assembly seats. It is also important to note that there is not a single elected Jubilee politician in Mombasa county which like, Kwale, Taita Taveta and Kilifi counties, is dominated by the Cord affiliate party ODM. In Kwale Gonzi Rai, the Kinango MP is the only Jubilee MP among Cord senators, MPs and ward representatives.  Jubilee’s only leader in Taita Taveta is Taveta MP Naomi Shaaban of TNA while Tana River has TNA’s Ali Wario in Bura.