Four Coast MPs have announced plans to form a new political party that will field a presidential candidate in 2022, signalling the beginning of political realignments as the dust settles on last year’s elections.
Mr Owen Baya (Kilifi North), Ms Aisha Jumwa (Malindi), Mr Ali Mbogo (Kisauni) and Mr Teddy Mwambire (Ganze) said the party would champion the region’s interests in remarks that came after Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi said last week that a Coast political party was in the offing.
In an interview with the Nation Tuesday, the MPs, who are close allies of Mr Kingi and Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho, said the various political parties at the Coast were fragmented and alienated from the people.
Mr Baya, Ms Jumwa and Mr Mwambire were elected on an ODM ticket, while Mr Mbogo flew the Wiper Party flag in a region regarded as an ODM stronghold.
Mr Joho could not be reached for comment Tuesday with his aide, Richard Chacha, referring the Nation to Deputy Governor William Kingi, who did not answer our calls.
But, in an interview, the three ODM MPs said the coast-based political parties should be shelved and a new one with a strong national outlook formed.
Mr Mbogo, however, called for strengthening of one of the coast-based parties — Kadu Asili, Shirikisho Party of Kenya, Devolution Party of Kenya and Chama Cha Uzalendo — all of which performed dismally in last year’s polls.
Ms Jumwa said Coast people were bitter after the National Super Alliance failed to appoint either Mr Joho or Mr Kingi a principal.
“We know they declined our request because we did not have a party for bargaining political power. They said that Joho was in ODM which nominated Nasa leader Raila Odinga to be the principal. That is when we realised that we were wrong,” she said.
The MP said the coast will no longer ride on “other people’s vehicles” and will soon be independent.
“The party, to be formed soon, will have a national outlook with its roots at the coast. It will join the likes of ODM, Wiper, Ford Kenya and ANC which, despite their huge support base in the country, have roots in particular regions. That is what we want to achieve,” she said, adding that the envisaged party will bring together politicians from the region.
Mr Mbogo said: “Going to a coalition with a coast-based political party is the next thing I support. However, since there are already existing parties, we can restructure them and make them strong.”
Mr Baya said the new party will be arrived at after consultations, adding: “We are starting the process of consensus building towards a robust party and 2022 provides an opportunity for that.”
He said they will use the party to drive the Coast break-away agenda in remarks that were supported by Mr Mwambire.