JKP might collapse for lack of political goodwill - dons

TAKING A GIANT STEP FORWARD: Governors Hassan Joho( Mombasa) , Salim Muvrya (Kwale), Amazon Kingi (Kilifi), Issa Timami (Lamu) and John Mruttu (Taita Taveta) during the signing of an MoU between the coast county governments of Jumuia ya Kaunti za Pwani and Universities at Technical University of Mombasa on January 23, 2015 Photo/file
TAKING A GIANT STEP FORWARD: Governors Hassan Joho( Mombasa) , Salim Muvrya (Kwale), Amazon Kingi (Kilifi), Issa Timami (Lamu) and John Mruttu (Taita Taveta) during the signing of an MoU between the coast county governments of Jumuia ya Kaunti za Pwani and Universities at Technical University of Mombasa on January 23, 2015 Photo/file

The Jumuiya ya Kaunti za Pwani faces collapse, barely one year after its formation.

Renowned professionals and university dons tasked with advising the Coast governor-led Jumuiya ya Kaunti za Pwani economic bloc have said the group no longer has the political goodwill of its founders.

Two professors yesterday blamed early campaigns for the challenges the much-hyped JKP faces.

The bloc was resisted by local parliamentarians on allegations of being a re-election vehicle for the county chiefs.

Taita Taveta University College don Hamad Boga and former Technical University of Mombasa vice chancellor Josphat Mwatela have said the governors have become “too busy” for JKP.

Speaking separately in Voi and Mombasa, the two professors said they would soon demand a meeting to share the progress of the much-publicised JKP for the sake of Coast residents.

But the man at the helm, Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya, said everything is on course.

A meeting with the technical team is set for next week, he said.

“The technical team is set to give us their report on issues in our blueprint. After that, we will have a much bigger forum where we will share the final report, which basically has key priorities for the region,” Mvurya said.

He criticised Kaloleni MP Gunga Mwinga, the Coast Parliamentary Group chairman, and Kilifi North MP Gideon Mung’aro for attacking JKP.

Mvurya said Mwinga and Mung’aro are not JKP spokesmen and should concentrate on their mandates.

Mwatela said they have educated Kilifi county staff on JKP.

Boga said some foreign donors and experts from Germany and Egypt have expressed interest in assisting JKP with technical knowhow.

“The implementation of the JKP blueprint is going on gradually in phases, but the most unfortunate thing is that the leaders concerned are engaged in public platform contests, which are hurting the progress of the initiative,” Boga said.

Mwatela said: “Capacity building for county staff is what we have achieved, which is very little. We are soon going to demand a meeting so that we can get the state of things as far as the implementation of the blueprint is concerned.”

Mvurya said county executives have been meeting to look at common legislation among the counties, especially on education and tourism.

“We are trying to see how we can have an input in national policy. There is a lot that is bringing together the counties. The tourism chair, Joyce Lay, has circulated an email over a proposal on how to market tourism,” he said.

The governor added that “those making noise are not part of the system, and those part of the system are not making noise”.

The scholars’ comments come days after Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi accused Mung’aro of derailing JKP operations by allegedly leading MPs to Jubilee.

And in a new twist, Mwinga, who backed the formation of the economic bloc in 2014, last week said: “JKP is dead.”

Mwatela said discussions are still ongoing whether to establish a Coast bank to replace Imarika Sacco.

Fact Box

The Jumuiya ya Kaunti za Pwani economic bloc formed in 2015 seeks to bring together the six Coast counties – Mombasa, Kwale, Kilifi, Lamu, Taita Taveta and Tana River.

All governors from Coast, under the Jumuiya ya Kaunti za Pwani, signed an MoU with Pwani University, the Technical University of Mombasa, Taita Taveta University College and Umma University to ensure academia works with the counties to tackle socio-economic problems.

The JKP has a secretariat and a technical team that have spearheaded activities to be undertaken within the counties.

The teams comprise professors and other professionals within the region.

Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya is the chairman of the bloc.