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Joho, Kingi allies divided on 2022 election flagbearer

Saturday March 24 2018

2022 ELECTION

Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho (left) and Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir chat during the commissioning of Tudor Sub-County Hospital's maternity wing, on February 1, 2018. Mr Nassir said he supports Mr Joho's plan to contest the presidency. PHOTO | LABAN WALLOGA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

KAZUNGU SAMUEL
By KAZUNGU SAMUEL
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CHARLES LWANGA
By CHARLES LWANGA
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Barely a week after Deputy President William Ruto toured the Coast to a rousing welcome, the tide is changing with supporters of Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho and those of his Kilifi counterpart Amason Kingi reading from different scripts.

Mr Joho and Mr Kingi’s allies have differed on who should fly the region’s presidential flag in the 2022 election.

At the same time, Mr Kingi, who had earlier announced plans to form his party on Thursday, refused to comment on the matter and his relationship with Mr Joho and Nasa leader Raila Odinga, which were said to be souring.

“I won’t comment on anything touching on the two of us (Kingi and Joho) now. I know you people will spoil it,” he told journalists in Kilifi.

Close associates however indicated that Mr Kingi was focused on forming his own party as part of his succession plans after his second term as governor ends.

RUTO TOUR

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Mr Kingi had also hinted that he is working on an extremely bigger political project to change the shape of national politics.

Last weekend, Mr Ruto made a whirlwind tour of the coast in a bid to eat into the Nasa support in the region following a deal between Mr Odinga and President Uhuru Kenyatta to work together for the betterment of the country.

The visit saw nearly all the Nasa MPs in the region turning up to welcome Mr Ruto with some of them backing him for the presidency in 2022.

But in interviews with Sunday Nation, some of the politicians changed tune and said that the DP should support Mr Joho’s bid for the presidency in 2022.

DEVELOPMENT
Mvita MP Abdulswamad Sharif Nassir, who is a close ally of Mr Joho, said the leaders joined Mr Ruto’s tour to lobby for development in the region and not necessarily to support his 2022 candidature.

“My stand is that since the Mombasa governor is going for the presidency in 2022, the DP and President Uhuru Kenyatta should support him.

“I accompanied the DP because he was on a development tour, taking into consideration that the projects will also benefit my people in Mvita. But he has to support the governor now,” Mr Nassir said.

Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa, a close ally of Mr Kingi, however reiterated that she will support Mr Ruto’s State House race.

ENDORSE
Magarini MP Michael Kingi, who is a younger brother to Governor Kingi, denied endorsing Mr Ruto but instead said he asked him to extend government projects to other regions at the Coast and then wait for the verdict of the people in the next elections.

Jomvu MP Badi Twalib, in whose turf the DP launched a Sh1 billion road project, said he will work with him for the sake of development.