Politicians pick sides after Jumwa-Sifuna drama

Sunday May 5 2019

MPs Jumwa, Kingi and Baya

MPs Aisha Jumwa (Malindi), Michael Kingi (Magarini) and Owen Baya (Kilifi North) during the burial of Kilifi Woman Representative Gertrude Mbeyu's father at Kibarani on May 5, 2019. PHOTO | CHARLES LWANGA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

CHARLES LWANGA
By CHARLES LWANGA
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Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi has asked Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa to find "good and acceptable" ways to solve her problems with the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), instead of "embarrassing" herself in public.

Governor Kingi's remarks on Saturday followed Ms Jumwa's dramatic response to ODM Secretary-General Edwin Sifuna's political remarks at a burial.

Mourners attending the funeral of Mombasa Deputy Governor William Kingi’s father were on Friday left in shock when Ms Jumwa barred Mr Sifuna from speaking.

As Mr Sifuna began to speak, Ms Jumwa, who was master of the ceremony at Jilore in Malindi, walked to the stage and grabbed the microphone from him, accusing him of “talking politics during a funeral”.

'BITTERNESS'

The county chief spoke in Kibarani during the burial of Mr Justuce Mwanyanje, who was the father of Kilifi Woman Representative Getrude Mbeyu.

Before his address, Ms Jumwa had explained that she barred Mr Sifuna from speaking about ODM matters because the people recognise Governor Kingi as the party's chairman in Kilifi.

She noted he delivered 100 per cent votes to the party in the 2017 general election.

“During campaigns, did you see Sifuna around campaigning for ODM? Who is he now to come and talk about ODM and its regulations here? Locals only recognise Governor Kingi, who campaigned for the party.”

But Governor Kingi criticised Ms Jumwa, saying she embarrassed herself in public due to bitterness.

Noting that events at the Jilore funeral were an embarrassment to Coast leaders, he advised Ms Jumwa to solve her problems with ODM in "good and acceptable" ways.

“Aisha, you need to cool your temper. We know you are bitter but there are proper ways of dealing with [the problem] and getting good results. What you are currently doing won’t help,” he told the Malindi MP.

MIJIKENDA RESPECT

But some of the politicians who attended the funeral defended Ms Jumwa.

MPs Owen Baya (Kilifi North) and Michael Kingi (Magarini), who spoke earlier, said her actions resulted from the need to respect the Mijikenda community.

Mr Sifuna started his speech by stressing the need to respect the orange party but Ms Jumwa told him he had disrespected "the dead and the Mijikenda community".

Mr Baya said "things have changed so we will now demand respect as Mijikenda leaders for the good of our people".

He added, “If you do not respect the Mijikenda community and its leaders, we will deal with you perpendicularly, horizontally and squarely. People have been messing around with our people for a long time but now things have changed".

Mr Baya further said the Coast had, for a long time, been used by "upcountry politicians to fill gaps to win elections". He further complained that after the victories, the people are sidelined in development.

“Somebody thinks Coast residents are so easy to confuse during elections. They seduce us with one or two words and then we them vote for them, but in 2022 Coast will decide for itself.”

EXPULSION

MP Kingi told off Mr Sifuna for bringing up party politics "at a funeral in Malindi, where Ms Jumwa was the master of ceremony, yet they have already expelled her".

“There was no need for him to speak of how they expelled Ms Jumwa or the laws that were used. Aisha Jumwa is no longer an ODM member. What has helped her to cling to the party for a short time is the court."

The politician further said Ms Jumwa could not allow the ODM official to torment her at home, and that she was right to prevent him from addressing mourners.

"Nobody can allow a visitor to disrespect him in his own house," he said.

He added, “Stop engaging Aisha on matters of ODM. She is no longer a member and demands respect. If you respect us, we will return the favour. Coast residents are known for being hospitable.”

ON THE FENCE

Some of the Coast ODM leaders who attended the funeral were Teddy Mwambire (Ganze), Paul Katana (Kaloleni) and William Kamoti (Rabai).

Other were Lands Chief Administrative Secretary Gideon Mung’aro, Kilifi Senator Christine Zawadi, Anthony Oluoch (Mathare), Joshua Kimilu (Kaiti), Caleb Amisi (Saboti) and Beatrice Adagala (Vihiga Woman Representative).

The Mathare legislator said he would not get involved in the matter but that he would follow it "from a distance in Nairobi".

“What I witnessed yesterday ... I will watch Kilifi politics from Nairobi. However, whatever you people gave Ms Jumwa that made her behave the way she did at the funeral ... continue giving it to her,” he said.