Kaya elders to vet 2013 aspirants at the Coast
MIJIKENDA Kaya elders have formed a vetting committee that will ensure aspirants at the Coast pass an integrity test. Speaking at Kaya Duruma yesterday after a consultative meeting with elders from the Duruma sub-tribe, Mijikenda Kaya Elders Council secretary Joseph Mwarandu, said the era when elders conduct "blanket blessing and anointment to politicians is long gone".
“The leaders who are vying for various political positions in the counties occupied by the Mijikenda community will have to be scrutinised by this vetting board with representatives from the nine communities and will only be given the nod after passing an integrity test,” said Mwarandu.
Mwarandu, who is a lawyer based in Malindi, said the council commands influence among the Rabai, Duruma, Digo, Kambe, Ribe, Jibana, Chonyi, Kauma and Giryama. He added that they have the mandate to provide political direction for the community through scrutinising aspirants.
He said they will organise open public forums where aspirants will be placed under the citizen-based integrity test. “We will do this process in the open and subject these would-be leaders to a public integrity test where they will table their manifestos and field questions of any nature from the elders including their past record just in line with the new constitution,” he said.
The elders according to Mwarandu are disillusioned by the ongoing trend where leaders elected by the community continue to display incompetence at the national level and fail to articulate issues affecting Coast people at large. Presidential candidates will also not be spared in this process as they will have to undergo this particular test explaining how they have assisted the local people in the positions they have so far held and how they are going to address the plight of Coastals. In 2003, the elders successfully endorsed former Kisauni MP Karisa Maitha as Coast king who became the region’s de facto and has not been replaced ever since his death while on an official trip in Germany in August 2004.