- Led by Presidential political advisor Karisa “Mkulubilanga” Nzai, the UDA leaders said the time has come for the region to try the government side and see the fruits that will come from it.
- Nzai said the Coast region has a great potential to be the heartbeat of the country through the blue economy but it is yet to tap into the potential partly because the region has been in opposition for far too long.
The Coastal region has largely remained poor because of its insistence on staying in the opposition despite not benefiting from it, senior UDA members have said.
Led by President William Ruto's political advisor Karisa “Mkulubilanga” Nzai, the UDA leaders said the time has come for the region to try the government side and see the fruits that will come from it.
Nzai said the Coast region has a great potential to be the heartbeat of the country through the blue economy but it is yet to tap into the potential partly because the region has been in opposition for far too long.
“The time has come for us to ask ourselves hard and honest questions. Why should we remain in opposition where we have suffered poverty and underdevelopment for decades yet we have an opportunity to join government and realize rapid development?” he posed.
Speaking in Katikirieni in Chasimba ward, Chonyi, Kilifi county, where he donated goods worth millions of shillings to the Gospel Planter Ministry, Nzai said Chonyi land has been in opposition all along and is among the poorest regions in the country.
“But we are lucky we have a President who keeps his word and who has a special place for Coast in his heart,” Nzai said on Sunday.
To demonstrate to the people of the region that he loves them, Nzai said, President William Ruto’s first order of business was to return the port services back to Mombasa after they were transferred to Naivasha and Nairobi.
He said President Ruto has also demonstrated to the Coast people that he loves the region better than any other president Kenya has ever had by appointing two Cabinet Secretaries, at least two Principal Secretaries, at least two Chief Administrative Secretaries, and about 24 parastatal heads from the region.
“There is no other time that the Coast region has reaped from the government more than this time,” Nzai said.
He said the government will do all it can to ensure Chonyi has proper roads and electricity after the people in Katikirieni complained of poor roads and lack of electricity.
“We will speak with the relevant ministries to ensure you get all the services including roads and electricity,” he said.
“But this will be better addressed if we as leaders from the Coast region unite and speak with one voice in order to get the development we deserve.”
He said political differences should not necessarily mean the region cannot speak with one voice.
At the same time, he called on leaders in Coastal counties to unclog the drainages during this time when the rains have temporarily stopped.
The region was three days ago pounded heavily by rains causing massive unprecedented floods and displacing hundreds of thousands of people.
“The government has committed to helping mitigate the effects of the floods and we need the counties to also do their part.
UDA political activist Ken Nyale echoed Nzai's sentiments saying the Coast region, especially Chonyi has been blindly sticking to opposition like ticks hang onto cattle skin even when the cattle dies.
“We have been supporting the opposition all along but what have we gained in return? Nothing meaningful! Why don’t we try the government side this time round and see the difference if any?” posed Nyale.
He said he one day sat down and questioned himself for over two hours and that is why in 2016, he decided he would not remain in opposition like ticks.
He asked Chonyi leaders to join the government and try out a new recipe.
Most leaders from the community are in ODM.
Nyale said there is time for everything including time for campaigns and time for development.
“Even our brothers in Nyanza this time have decided to join the government after the elections so as to benefit from it. I ask our Chonyi leaders to do the same,” Nyale said.
He called on Kilifi South MP Ken Chonga, Lewa Mkadi and former Nominated Senator Emma Mbura to actively engage with the government side so their people can benefit from the government goodies.
He said President Ruto does not segregate people according to political affiliations because he loves all his children equally.
Meantime, Nzai urged UDA members to take advantage of the postponement of the UDA grassroots elections to register more UDA members.
He said UDA has brought leadership to the grassroots so that they do away with this issue of leaders coming from Nairobi to solve little things at the grassroots.
“The more members we have, the more leadership we will have, and the better we will solve our issues at the grassroots faster and more effectively,” he said.