Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga found himself on the receiving end after his advice to Coast leaders to stop pushing for the formation of a Coast based regional political party was opposed by ODM leaders in Kilifi.
Odinga had maintained that the idea of a Coast region political party is aimed at segregating the region from other parts of Kenya saying ODM is a national party with legislative representation in Kilifi, Kwale, Taita Taveta, Tana River, Wajir, Turkana Western and Nyanza among other areas.
“I call on Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi and Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho who are our point men in coast not be troubled so that we journey together in ODM party so that when I retire you take over,” he told residents in Ganze.
Earlier, Mr Kingi who has pledged to push for Coast unity through the Coalition of four political parties with their roots in Coast had questioned why the former premier had opposed the idea.
While appreciating that the law does not allow for the formation of political parties based on tribal, religion and regional basis, Kingi said that their plan was to unite the four existing political parties (Kadu-Asili, Shirikisho, Umoja Summit and Devolution Party) to form a Coalition.
“In Western, we have Musalia Mudavadi for ANC and Moses Wetangula for Ford Kenya but they decided to form a Coalition to represent their people at the national stage,” the same applies to Ukambani where we have Kalonzo Musyokja and Charity Ngilu who have united to form a Coalition to represent their people.”
Mr Kingi said the four are national parties with roots in the Coast.
“There is no party which does not have its stronghold or roots, everyone has its stronghold like Bandari FC, it’s stronghold fans are in Coast but it supporters are spread across the country,” he said.
His idea had enjoyed support of Ganze MP Teddy Mwambire, and Rabai MP William Kamoti.
But the former prime minister opposed the calls for a Coast based party or Coalition saying they are aimed at segregating the region from other parts of the country and asked Mr Kingi to journey with him in ODM.
“When I am exiting the national politics I want to leave him and Mr Joho to take over the mantle but he is instead escaping, after raising complaints that the party is not a good party. What happened since he has been contesting on ODM in 2007, 2013 and 2017 until 2022 when the party becomes undesirable,” he said.
Mr Odinga said he introduced Mr Kingi to politics in politics in 2007 and has been supporting him all along to contest for legislative and gubernatorial seat despite the parties-Shirikisho and Kadu-Asili being in existence.
“All those time Kadu Asili and Shirikisho Party were still in existence but he opted for ODM party. you can’t say ODM roots or stronghold is Nyanza because Raila himself who is the party leader vies in Nairobi not Nyanza,” he said in response to Mr Kingi’s claim that all political parties have their roots and strongholds.”
Mr Odinga said even if Mr Kingi becomes the ODM leader, “we can’t conclude that Kilifi is his stronghold, since ODM is a national party with it’s deputy from Mombasa and another from Kakamega, Governor Wycliffe Oparanya.”
Rabai MP William Kamoti had earlier taken issue with a recent photo taken at statehouse after a meeting attended by President Uhuru Kenyatta, Mr Odinga, Mr Mudavadi, Mr Wetangula, Mr Ngilu, Mr Kalonzo and Kanu Party leader Gideon Moi saying it illustrated that some regions had two representatives while Coast did not have any one to represent them.
Mr Mwambire said the region does not intend to ditch Mr Odinga’s leadership but is working on a formula to ensure the people are also represented at the national stage after the 2022 General Election.
Other MPs present included Suna East MP Junet Mohamed, Kilifi South MP Ken Chonga, Embakasi East MP Babu Owino, Kwale Senator Juma Boy, Kilifi Senator Stewart Madzayo, Likoni MP Moshi Mboko among other leaders.