Six legislators have asked Coast residents to fully support the push for a referendum.
The Coast MPs also called on their electorate to go through the Constitution and suggest their changes. Mr Teddy Mwambire (Ganze), Mr Ken Chonga (Kilifi South), Mr William Kamoti (Rabai), Mr Omar Mwinyi (Changamwe), Ms Mishi Mboko (Likoni) and Mr Paul Katana (Kaloleni) were speaking during a funds drive in Kilifi South.
Mr Mwambire stressed the need for residents who have been marginalised and are victims of historical injustices to throw their weight behind the referendum proposal. “The referendum will see issues affecting this region well captured for action in the next government,” he said.
Mr Mwambire, who is also the ODM deputy chairman in Kilifi County, called for the unity of all regional leaders, warning against Coast supremacy wars. “For decades there has been a rift not only between the leaders but also the residents. Such habits have not only led to regional downfall but are a recipe for marginalisation and the never-ending injustices meted out to the people. This needs to stop now,” he said. “It is time for Coast people to realise the dream they have been yearning for."
He said 20 per cent of the Constitution is not good for the public and does not favour Kenyans. "Let’s make sure that our deepest heartfelt concerns about the Constitution are well captured in the referendum proposals as Coast residents,” he added.
Mr Kamoti said referendum matters are part of the March 9 handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition leader Raila Odinga with its main aim being to unite Kenyans so as to avoid a repeat of the of 2007-8 General Election clashes.
Mr Mwinyi termed it a shame that since Independence the region has continued to witness divided opinion by politicians, making it hard for residents to be united. “Let the truth be told; that apart from the historical injustices meted out to our people, the same region has been experiencing divisions among the leaders. The time has come for us to be united towards our desired aspirations," he said.
Mr Chonga asked the residents to read the proposed constitutional amendments carefully to enable them to decide what is good for them.
A close ally of Mr Odinga, he faulted those criticising the ODM leader, saying he deserves respect for the many battles he has fought for the country. “No leader in this country has the authority to insult Mr Odinga,” he added.
Ms Mboko dismissed claims that the region cannot produce a president, saying there are leaders qualified for the top seat. “So, those who claim that we have no such leaders must be day dreaming,” she said.
Mr Katana praised the leaders' unity on development issues, saying it is a symbol of the united Coast that everyone wants to see. “As Coast leaders, we decided to take our challenges as one and resolved to move together in making sure that the development is attained," he said.
He added: "The current trend of leadership is unique and encouraging because as MPs, we have teamed up with the MCAs in the assemblies to make sure that projects meant for the community are addressed."