• Owen Baya-led group is keen on forming a new political party for the region, while the Joho camp is focusing on consolidating the support for ODM.
• The launching of the party is our democratic right and not a favour from ODM — Baya
Coast politicians have continued to trade unkind remarks as the battle for political supremacy intensifies in the region.
The war of words pits one group led by Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho and inclining towards President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga against the other led by Kilifi North MP Owen Baya leaning towards Deputy President William Ruto.
The Baya group is keen on forming a new political party for the region, while the Joho camp is focusing on consolidating support for ODM.
Baya on Monday dismissed Joho as the single-most existential threat to the unity and eventual liberation of the region.
The clamour for a Coast-based party is being fronted under Vuguvugu la Mageuzi Pwani.
“The Coast-based national party is already here and waiting for unveiling at the appropriate time.
"The party will not cause a division but consolidate our democratic gains and our long struggles as a region and separate the patriots from the traitors.
"The launching of the party is our democratic right and not a favour from ODM,” read a statement from Baya
Joho had accused the Baya faction of being used by Ruto to cause division in the region for their selfish gain.
“The people behind this push are leaders and others rejected in the previous elections who have sold their souls to Deputy President William Ruto and joined his campaign,” Joho said.
He challenged Baya and his team to surrender their elective positions and seek fresh re-election on the tickets of other political parties.
But Baya dismissed the claim that the push for a new party has something to do with Ruto.
“Joho’s greatest political nightmare is the Deputy President. He is deceived that if he labels our efforts as those sponsored by Ruto, the party will lose traction.
"Let me tell you (Joho) for free that you need to stop the attitude that the Coast person cannot do anything correct unless it is sponsored by people from other regions,” Baya said.
ODM MPs loyal to the party, led by Ganze MP Teddy Mwambire, threw their weight behind Joho. They warned the rebels against hoodwinking residents into buying the Ruto ‘bait’.
Thy castigated Nyali MP Mohammed Ali for abusing Joho.
“His gripe with Joho is that in the governor, he sees a person and level he will never reach, a credible coastal giant who will deliver the masses from the perennial troubles of landlessness, joblessness and marginalisation.
"It is inconceivable for Ali to imagine that the dream of all coastal people is to feed on the fraudulent hands of William Ruto and seek handouts from his loot,” the MPs said in a statement.
Edited by Kiilu Damaris