REGIONAL VOTE BLOC

Pwani, build your house or perish in the storm

Pwani knows that come 2022, there will be no ODM or Jubilee in the region.

In Summary

• The unity of the Kikuyu community has produced three presidents since Independence, their behind the scenes wrangling notwithstanding.

•  The unity of the Kalenjin in the Rift Valley produced a president and the first Deputy President under the 2010 Constitution.

Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa, Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi and his Mombasa counterpart Hassan Joho in Mtwapa, Kilifi county, on January 24, 2017
Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa, Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi and his Mombasa counterpart Hassan Joho in Mtwapa, Kilifi county, on January 24, 2017
Image: JOHN CHESOLI

In my previous article, I talked about unity of purpose in Pwani, way before 2022, as the only way for the region to redeem itself politically. 

The cliché 'Tujipange ama tutapangwa' (prepare yourself or you'll be prepared) applies.

Last week, Kazungu Katana [Coast political analyst] wrote an article in this newspaper, saying Pwani is tired of ODM and will rebel come 2022.

 
 

This is not news. Enough articles have been splashed in our newspapers and Pwani politicians at just about any and every public forum, including burials, have done a lot of talking about the same issue.

In the last five years, in this same newspaper, I have written, year in, year out, about the need for Pwani unity.

In 2015, I extensively wrote about the need for the regional vote bloc to unite firmly behind one agenda and leader for progress and development. 

My key point was that, in over five decades of Independence, the only time the Coast really mattered was when we had Karisa Maitha as our undisputed political kingpin.

I have previously given examples of what political unity in a region can do.

The unity of the Kikuyu community has produced three presidents since Independence, their behind the scenes wrangling notwithstanding.

The unity of the Kalenjin in the Rift Valley produced a president and the first Deputy President under the 2010 Constitution.

 
 

It will be very interesting to see if a president can be born out of the Rift Valley in spite of the wrangling currently being heard from that region.

COAST REGION IN NUMBERS

Pwani has close to two million votes estimated to grow to 2.5 million in 2022.

Producing six governors, six senators, six woman representatives, 35 MPs and a few hundred MPs, enough to demand a seat on the political high table to negotiate the Coast agenda, even inside the Big Four Agenda.

Including addressing conclusively the land question that borders on current and historical injustices.

Pwani is well aware that without political unity, we continue to be united in poverty, which is an excellent environment for being divided and ruled. This is also not news.

Kilifi Governor Amazon Kingi was vocal on building a house for Pwani, saying that ODM and Jubilee are not “our houses”. "Hizo ni nyumba za wenyewe" (Those houses belong to others), he said. 

Kingi even went as far as introducing the ‘TUFE’ ideology, simply meaning that in local football, the one who coils the ball can't be tackled or he will pick up the ball and walk out of the football pitch. 

Pwani knows that come 2022, there will be no ODM or Jubilee in the region. Jubilee has never been there anyway. Both parties, which have no roots in the Coast region, will be dead. Yes, DEAD.

Kingi has gone quiet in this regard, knowing clearly that what happened to Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa can happen to him as well. Jumwa was kicked out of ODM, despite her dedication to defending the party during the 2017 elections.

When you live in other people’s houses, you must never ask where the kitchen is. You eat what you are given. No one needs a by-election at this time, so silence becomes the only option.

So we hear governors Kingi and Mombasa’s Hassan Joho have presidential ambitions, but on which party? There’s no chance on earth that either of them will get the ODM ticket, even if Raila Odinga was not on the ballot. ODM ina wenyewe (has its owners).

But short of building a house for Pwani, speaking with one voice, looking serious, demanding respect, those 2.5 million votes will be drained in the heavy winds and political storm that is currently sweeping the country.

No beating about the bush. Pwani needs to support a national political party with roots in the region, or a coalition of all the regions’ parties to make good of the 2.5 million votes and even come up with a presidential candidate in that vehicle.

Pwani......My Pwani......Build your house or continue to live in people’s places and eating what is being cooked in a kitchen you have no access to. Or be denied food altogether.

Pwani Tujipange ama Tutapangwa.

The writer is the secretary general, Umoja Summit Party of Kenya.


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