There was confusion and breach of protocol as political leaders arrived at the third Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) rally at Mama Ngina Waterfront in Mombasa on Saturday.
Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen, Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa, Moses Kuria (Gatundu South) and his Nyali counterpart Mohammed Ali occupied seats meant for other leaders.
Due to confusion, a number of leaders including the host; Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho missed seats. Also missing seats were a number of Coast MPs among them Kwale Woman Representative Zuleika Hassan.
“Let them sit, they are Kenyans, we do not want them to have reasons to feel inferior, we want to move together as Kenyans. I will remain standing since I am the host,” said Mr Joho.
But just before the team allied to Deputy President William Ruto joined other leaders to the main dais, they were blocked by youth who forced them to jump over barriers.
The meeting venue was moved from Tononoka ground to Mama Ngina Waterfront due to security reasons.
Despite the side shows, the organisers picked Mr Murkomen to address the gathering despite having vowed earlier to bar members of Tangatanga team from addressing the rally.
At a press conference on Thursday, Mr Joho and four Coast governors said they would not allow anyone associated with DP Ruto to address the rally. They insisted that the meeting would only be addressed by Coast leaders.
Conspicuously missing from the rally Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya who is a close associate of Dr Ruto.
This is not the first time he was skipping meetings convened by Governor Joho. The two have been engaged in the Coastal kingship supremacy battles.
In the rally which was moderately attended, lack of pomp and colour also indicated poor mobilisation. The rally was meant to be a joint congregation for Kwale, Kilifi, Lamu, Taita-Taveta and Tana River counties.
In the rally, women governors led by Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru stressed the need for the BBI to address issue of inclusivity.
“We want to see government with national face that is why we are here to support BBI. We are asking once the BBI is adopted, women should have position at deputy prime ministers if not deputy president,” said Ms Waiguru.
In the rally where former Prime Minister Raila Odinga was the main speaker, a total of 24 governors were in attendance. A number of senators, MPs and other political leaders including Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka also attended.
The three former Nasa principals, Mr Odinga, Musyoka and Senator Moses Wetangula entered the venue in a convoy. The fourth BBI public mobilisation rally for Eastern region will be held in Kitui next Saturday.