DIVIDED HOUSE?

Kingi takes on Joho, Baya over supremacy spat

Asks leaders from the region to move unity talks from funerals to boardrooms.

In Summary

•  Kingi said the region has more than three million votes and cannot afford to stoop to another leader from another region.

• He was re-elected governor on an ODM ticket but has snubbed visits to Kilifi by Raila. 

Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi with Kilifi North MP Owen Baya during the funeral of former Kaloleni MP Gunga Mwinga in Chalani, Kaloleni on January 9
Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi with Kilifi North MP Owen Baya during the funeral of former Kaloleni MP Gunga Mwinga in Chalani, Kaloleni on January 9
Image: ELIAS YAA

Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi has criticised his Mombasa counterpart Hassan Joho and Kilifi North MP Owen Baya following a recent spat over political supremacy.

Kingi said it was unfortunate that the two leaders were abusing each other to please their political masters who are not even from the region.

Speaking during the funeral of former Kaloleni MP Gunga Mwinga in Chalani on Saturday, Kingi accused the two leaders of being used to divide the region.

“One leader wrote a very long statement abusing the other and then the other leader does the same with impeccable abuses. Why should you abuse your fellow leader just to please [ODM chief] Raila Odinga or [Deputy President] William Ruto? If you are sincere enough abuse each other to please people from the Coast,” Kingi said. 

Kingi was re-elected governor on an ODM ticket. He has, however, snubbed visits to Kilifi by Raila. 

Whereas Kingi has rooted for the formation of a new political party for the region, Joho wants the dominant ODM strengthened.

“The solution to the Coast problems does not lie in forming a new party. We have many parties in this region. The solution is merging these parties so that we can have one strong entity,” Kingi said. 

Kingi said the region has more than three million votes and cannot afford to stoop to another leader from another region.

Earlier on, Mwinga's family had restricted the leaders from turning the funeral into a political battlefield. Kingi had to run the programme while respecting their wishes. 

He challenged leaders from the region to move the unity talks from funerals to boardrooms.

“The leaders are the problem. You can see the way they are seated together here but some wish others could die the next day. Because we are here everyone will talk of unity but they will never attend any meeting to discuss the same unity they are talking of,” Kingi said. 

Baya dismissed Kingi as a coward.

“It's unfortunate that Kingi has lost the Coast ideological battle, economic and political philosophy. Kingi's speeches and the way he elucidated the Coast region ideological, historical and political philosophy with eloquence and passion inspired some of us into politics,” he said. 

The lawmaker said Kingi appears to have lost his spark. 

“He, like Obama, gave us the audacity of hope. But Joho who is inferior to Kingi in many aspects has prevailed upon him and has ignited in Kingi a new self-serving attitude,” Baya said. 

Security officials said there was a plan by two political teams to disrupt their rivals' speeches. Police heightened security to avert any clashes.

The pro-Ruto faction in the area comprises Baya, Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa and her Kaloleni counterpart Paul Katana. 

On the other hand, MPs Teddy Mwambire (Ganze), Ken Chonga (Kilifi South), Michael Kingi (Magarini), William Kamoti (Rabai), Gertrude Mbeyu (Kilifi county), Senator Stewart Madzayo are pro-Raila.