The supremacy battle between governors Hassan Joho and Amason Kingi is frustrating unity efforts by Coast leaders.
Professional, religious, social and opinion leaders are pushing for the unity of leaders and residents to give the region bargaining power in the next election.
However, the fight to control the region’s politics between the Kilifi governor and his Mombasa counterpart might scuttle these efforts.
The elusive Coast unity, which has exposed the region to the clutches of powerful political brokers outside the region, has been blamed for the region’s relative underdevelopment. Joho, who has announced interest to vie for President, wants to use the MCAs to gain an upper hand in his quest to command a following in the region.
Kingi has also expressed interest in the presidency, and is seen to be working closely with Deputy President William Ruto, who also has presidential ambitions in the 2022 General Election. Joho, on the other hand, is seen to be cozying up to President Uhuru Kenyatta, his hitherto political foe.
Political analyst Hassan Mwakimako yesterday said the supremacy battle has more serious repercussions for the two individuals than for the region.“They will not be able to consolidate the Coast as a bloc and it will defeat their purpose of using the Coast as a bargaining tool,” the Pwani University don said on the phone.
However, Naomi Cidi and former Kisauni MP Ananiah Mwaboza believe the differences between the two will not affect the search for Coast unity. Cidi yesterday said Kingi and Joho are looking for unity in their own way.
Kingi met 21 MPs from the region last Saturday as he sought to address the issues affecting the region and its future political course.
Joho, in response, has called for a meeting with all the region’s MCAs this Friday, as he seeks their support. Ganze MP Teddy Mwambire, however, said Joho’s meeting should not be taken to mean a supremacy battle between the two.
He told the Star on the phone the meeting will determine whether there is indeed a supremacy battle.
“The purported supremacy battle will be exhibited when Governor Kingi fails to attend the MCAs’ consultative meeting and Governor Joho shares nothing about his absence.“But if Kingi attends, it will be sealed,” Mwambire said.
He, however, said the two will not be taken seriously if they contravene the Coast region’s position in the country’s political pattern.
“Anyone who exposes us to be like optional spices in the political pattern of the country this time round will be assumed as a betrayal master or mistress.” The battle between the two will also cast a dark shadow over efforts to revive the Jumuiya ya Kaunti za Pwani.
“Let them look for unit of the political leaders while we seek unity of the people at the grassroots. Eventually, at some point we will join hands because it is inevitable.” Cidi said.