Mombasa MPs were conspicuously absent when Kisauni legislator Ali Mbogo hosted Deputy President William Ruto in Majaoni on Sunday.
This leaves room for speculation on whether or not they have gone back on their support for the DP, ever since Governor Hassan Joho in Apri reaffirmed his intention to run for president.
On March 16, days after the handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition chief Raila Odinga, Mombasa MPs said they would support Ruto. They spoke when Ruto launched the Jomvu Kuu-Rabai road.
The MPs included Badi Twalib (Jomvu), Abdulswamad Nassir (Mvita), Omar Mwinyi (Changamwe), Mishi Mboko (Likoni) and Asha Hussein (Mombasa Woman Rep).
On April 6, soon after he jetted back into the country after almost a month abroad, Joho said he will be on the presidential ballot in 2022.
Mombasa MPs, apart from Nyali’s Mohammed Ali, have since been coy about their support for Ruto.
On Sunday Mbogo, who has been persistent on his support for the ‘Hustler’, faulted some Coast leaders who he said have been giving Ruto conditions for their support.
“Those who give you conditions have not spoken to us as MPs and MCAs. They must first speak to us before coming to you,” the MP said.
“We will not give you conditions. We will give you our votes with clean hearts.”
Ruto was in Majaoni to talk about the land problems in Kisauni.
Mbogo spoke a day after Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi said Coast leaders should stop endorsing Ruto and focus on uniting the region.
Kingi said they will work with the Jubilee administration as they have “Baba’s goodwill” as he took the lead with the handshake, so going against it would be a betrayal.
He dismissed ODM leaders who have called Kilifi politicians rebels for taking Ruto’s side ahead of the poll.
“The union was easy because of the handshake. We should thank Raila for saying Kingi should not fight Ruto if he comes to Malindi. I welcome them because of the handshake,” the governor said.
Kingi said it was time to plan for the next election and that the best option was for Coast residents to unite and plan. He spoke during an Iftar dinner in Malindi on Saturday. Ruto was present at the Iftar.
Close Mbogo allies told the Star the MP was making reference to Kingi and Joho.
Joho has, however, not publicly endorsed Ruto’s bid as he also has presidential ambitions of his own – just like Kingi.
But Jubilee’s Abdi Daib said there is nothing wrong with giving Ruto conditions as long as they will benefit Coast residents. “It is okay to give conditions. Even when you want to marry a wife, she will give you conditions,” Daib told the Star in an interview in his office in Mombasa.
The Jubilee activist unsuccessfully ran for Changamwe MP in August last year. He said Ruto likes structured working ideas, which bring the best out of Jubilee and leaders.
“Jubilee is not running away from conditions if at all those conditions will be for the benefit of the people at the grassroots,” the politicians said.