DISAPPOINTED

Coast leaders accuse Uhuru of sidelining region in cabinet reshuffle

The Mijikenda say they have been denied the fruits of the Handshake and BBI

In Summary

• Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa says Coast leaders are not convinced that the Handshake and BBI are about unity and inclusivity.

• Former Kisauni MP Ananiah Mwaboza blamed the state of affairs on the advisers in the Presidency, saying they do not give Uhuru the right advice.

Umoja Summit Party of Kenya chairman Matano Chengo.
IT'S A UHURU-RAILA GOVERNMENT: Umoja Summit Party of Kenya chairman Matano Chengo.
Image: BRIAN OTIENO

 

The appointment of Nadia Abdalla as Cabinet Administrative Secretary in the latest government reorganisation was one too few from the Coast, regional leaders complained on Tuesday.

The leaders, most of them from Mijikenda community, said they were sidelined in  President Uhuru Kenyatta's January 14 line- up announced in his state of the nation address at State House, Mombasa.

Renegade ODM legislator Aisha Jumwa said it was unfortunate that the Mijikenda continued to be used for political gains.

The Malindi MP said on social media: “It has happened again to us as the Mijikenda. It is no doubt that the Mijikenda nation is not a factor in this government. So sad.”

Nadia Abdalla, who was named the  CAS in the ICT ministry, is from Mombasa.

“Aren’t we the Mijikenda worthy of the Handshake and BBI fruits?” Jumwa asked.

Her Kilifi North counterpart Owen Baya said President Kenyatta continues to ignore the Mijikenda, who the majority in the region.

Three quarters of the more than two million Coast voters are the Mijikenda.

“We are disappointed,” Baya said, who is another ODM MP.

Jumwa said there is no inclusivity in the country. “I will not get tired of talking as a Coast leader and especially from the Mijikenda community. We are not refugees. We are Kenyans.”

The MP, who has fallen out with ODM leadership and now associates herself with Deputy President William Ruto, said Coast leaders are not convinced that the Handshake and BBI are about unity and inclusivity.

The MPs have insinuated they might lead an anti-BBI campaign in Coast.

Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho has been marshalling support for the BBI in the region.

Umoja Summit Party of Kenya chairman Matano Chengo said the exclusion of the Coast region or the Mijikenda community is no longer surprising.

“There is nothing new or surprising that Uhuru has done. It is clear this government is for Uhuru and (ODM leader) Raila Odinga. The government is not for the people,” Chengo said by phone.

Former Kisauni MP Ananiah Mwaboza said the Mijikenda are closely watching and will act when it matters most.

He blamed the state of affairs on the advisers in the Presidency, saying they mislead the President by not giving him the right advice.

“We are also taxpayers and have eligible people for appointment to any position in this country. We are raising the red flag,” the politician said.

Kenya Muslim National Advisory Council chairman Sheikh Juma Ngao said the Uhuru cabinet has few Coast people and Muslims.

“The cabinet must have enough Muslims. The number of Muslims in the cabinet is so small. The President should add two more Muslims to his cabinet,” he said, also by phone.

Chengo said it was insensitive of Uhuru to announce the reshuffled cabinet from a region he has ignored.

 Najib Balala, who is in charge of Tourism,  is the only CS from the Coast. Chengo said the minister does not "adequately" represent Coast.

“We know there is (PS) Safina Kwekwe from Kwale, but she has been there before. There is no new appointment,” said the USPK chair.