The calls for autonomy are dividing residents, says CS Dan Kazungu.
Kilifi North MP Owen Baya has defended his push for Coast secession, saying it is not meant to divide locals.
In an interview on Wednesday, the ODM legislator refuted claims by Mining Cabinet Secretary Dan Kazungu that he was dividing Kilifi people with his call for secession.
He said the county is more united under Governor Amason Kingi than before.
Mr Baya said on Wednesday that residents’ unity was evident when they overwhelmingly voted for Nasa presidential flagbearer Raila Odinga in the August 8 election, following a massive campaign by Governor Kingi.
“Had we been divided, then Jubilee would have carried the day in the August General Election. That did not happen and our people listened to our voice and did what the governor wanted them to do and that is what we call unity.
“Even in last week’s repeat presidential poll, few people came out to vote and this is because of the campaigns we did to stop them from voting,” he said.
During the burial of former Kandara Deputy OCPD, Madaraka Mung’aro, in Dabaso a week ago, Mr Kazungu told the MP and the governor to stop dividing the people following their secession call.
“I want to tell my brother Owen and the governor to unite the people of Kilifi and not split them with their call to secede from the rest of the country.
“In this critical moment, it is bad for a politician to start talking of division when we need each other,” Mr Kazungu said.
But Mr Baya said the CS and a group of Jubilee allies have been dividing Kilifi people by forcing them to join Jubilee.
“The CS and his Jubilee politicians are busy trying to force the people to join the political outfit against their wish. I want to tell him that [they] will not yield anything because they [residents] are focussed and know what they need in terms of leadership and governance,” he said.
The MP told the CS to return to Nasa as his political career would be in jeopardy if he remains in Jubilee.
“Mr Kazungu was in ODM where he was poached by Jubilee. Before crossing over, his political star was on the rise but that is a long story gone. He must come back home because it is here he belongs, and not in Jubilee,” said Mr Baya.
The CS, a close ally of former Kilifi North MP Gideon Mung’aro, was elected Malindi MP in the March 2013 General Election on the ODM ticket.
In 2015, he was appointed to President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Cabinet as the CS in charge of Mining, a position he holds to date.
His appointment led to a fiercely contested by-election where Jubilee’s Philip Charo lost to ODM’s William Mtengo.
Mr Baya has indicated he will table a bill in Parliament to de-link the Coast from the rest of Kenya, following the bungled August 8 and October 26 presidential polls.
Mr Baya, Mr Kingi and a number of other Coast leaders have accused the Jubilee administration of marginalisation and not having the interests of locals at heart.
They claimed President Kenyatta’s regime has failed to address land problems, joblessness and poverty at the Coast and has instead worked to kill devolution.