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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Inside Lunga Lunga 2017 realignments

Lunga Lunga constituency in Kwale county is likely to be a hotbed of politics come 2017 as various kingmakers and would be contenders have already begun early preparation with the incumbent MP Khatib Mwashetani feeling the heat.
Recently, Mwashetani’s chief campaigner Kassim Pojo rebelled against him and announced he would be vying for the seat in the next general elections. The MP who is still faced with an election petition in the Supreme Court is reportedly a worried man as Pojo is a custodian of many secrets. For instance, CDF operations in the constituency are in a mess as outsiders have benefitted at the expense of Lunga Lunga voters, sources say.
Additionally, Mwashetani has an outsider tag still hanging around his neck like the sword of Damocles. A section of voters claim he does not hail from the constituency, accusing him of not even having a home in the area. They further claim the house he began to build when he was seeking for votes, he later sold it immediately he got elected to parliament and since then, he has been operating from Mombasa some 100 kilometres away.
“It is Pojo, his chief campaigner who has been covering his nakedness. But now that he has dumped him, we are yet to see how the MP will be operating because he has no home here in Lunga Lunga where voters can go to see him. If you want to visit his home, you have to travel all the way to Nyali in Mombasa,” Mzee Salim Mwachimako pointed out.
However, Mwashetani is a high flier with powerful connections in the Jubilee administration although he is a Cord MP having been elected on a Ford Kenya ticket. The MP boasts of being close to Deputy President William Ruto. Sources however says the DP may have started giving him a cold shoulder after realisation he cannot be relied upon to deliver the Digo vote.
A harambee he has been pestering the DP to preside over in his constituency has been ignored for many months even as sources say the MP’s chances of being re-elected in 2017 are slim especially after a fallout with Mombasa governor Hassan Joho who in spite of being his political benefactor, he has dumped him and joined forces that are fighting the Mombasa county chief.
Joho has vowed to teach Mwashetani a political lesson come 2017 and has not spared time in criticising him and his Msambweni counterpart Suleiman Dori for betraying their Coast opposition colleagues after they visited State House last year and immediately turned their back on Cord leader Raila Odinga.
Besides Pojo a flamboyant operative and an MCA for Mwereni, others likely to make Mwashetani sweat in 2017 includes former Msambweni MPs Abdalla Ngozi and Omar Zonga both of whom found themselves on the new constituency’s side after it was hived off from the then larger Msambweni constituency before the last general elections.
The constituency is inhabited by three main ethnic blocs namely the Digo, Duruma and Kamba. And in terms of voting strength, the Digos are the majority with 13,000 votes followed by the Kambas at 12,000 and Durumas 9,000. In total as at now, the constituency has 34,404 voters spread across four wards namely Pongwe/Kikoneni, Dzombo, Mwereni and Vanga.