KILIFI Governor Amason Kingi has found himself in trouble after his party, Pamoja African Alliance (PAA) rejects his decision to support Raila’s 2022 presidential bid.
Last week, Kingi had announced that PAA would support former Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s presidential bid if, in return, ODM did not field candidates for other seats in Kilifi.
The governor, who spoke in Malindi town a week ago, claimed PAA had initiated talks with ODM so the two parties would become equal partners.
However, on Tuesday, ODM’s Kilifi County chairman Teddy Mwambire said no seats would be reserved for PAA as Kingi had demanded. He said ODM will field candidates in all elective positions.
Mwambire, also the Ganze MP, took over the county’s ODM chairmanship after Kingi was dropped. Yesterday, he accused his predecessor of causing confusion with his declaration. He said Kingi, who left ODM in August, was trying to sneak back “but with unrealistic conditions for him to support Raila”.
“He should join us and campaign for Raila and do so without conditions,” Mwambire said.
The MP said only ODM would address the needs of the region, including land reforms. He said PAA, a party that Kingi founded earlier this year, had no capacity to address issues affecting the region.
ODM secretary-general Edwin Sifuna also dismissed claims that PAA would enter into talks with Azimio La Umoja and ODM for a possible coalition.
He accused Kingi of seeking relevance ahead of his retirement. Kingi has served two terms as governor, making him ineligible to vie for the seat in the 2022 General Election.
“Kilifi is an ODM county and we will field candidates in all elective positions. Those talking of a party called PAA are ODM members who fear defeat in party primaries and have chickened out,” claimed Sifuna.
Matano Chengo, the Umoja Summit Party of Kenya (USPK) chairman, and his Kadu Asili counterpart, Joshua Kombora, said Kingi had made a poor decision by declaring support for Raila before signing a pre-election pact.
“Kingi cannot claim to be speaking on behalf of Coast people; and he cannot even sign any pre-election agreement on behalf of the people. After all, he has already publicly backed Raila’s candidature, and that he has done without any conditions,” said Chengo.
He said local political parties were focused on achieving unity of the region before going into a coalition with any political party.
Kombora said other local leaders were treating Kingi’s declaration of support for Raila as his personal stand, saying the governor made the remarks without consulting other political parties and residents.
“Governor Kingi made a personal statement and he has a right to do so,” said Kombora. “But if he was making the remarks on behalf of Coast region, then he has acted unilaterally because he has not consulted us. He can join Raila and they can have a coalition agreement but we are not part of that political deal.”
PAA chairman Ibrahim Khamis, alias Babangida, said even though the outfit’s leadership had not entered a formal deal with Raila, it was something they were considering.