Baya hits out at Joho over ‘Coast isn’t poor’ remarks

Kilifi North MP Owen Baya during a meeting of Coast leaders at the Wild Waters hotel in Mombasa on November 3, 2018.

Photo credit: File | Nation

What you need to know:

  • You have to admit you’re poor to get out of poverty, MP tells governor.

Kilifi North Member of Parliament Owen Baya has criticised Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho over his remarks on Thursday during a Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) rally in Taita-Taveta that Coast residents are not poor. 

In a press briefing in Kilifi, the MP said Mr Joho had betrayed the Mijikenda community and warned him of tough political times ahead. 

“We have always respected Governor Joho because he had portrayed himself as one of the leaders from the Coast region who can be trusted but he shocked when he came out to say that we are not poor because he lives in posh estates,” Mr Baya said. 

The legislator cited Bamba, Ganze ,Magarini and Kaloleni area in Kilifi County and Tana River County as some of the poorest in the Coast region. 
Mr Baya brushed off the governor’s sentiments that the Coast region will form part of the next government and be able to get its fair share of the national cake.

He said Mr Joho had lost all the respect he had earned from the Mijikenda community. The MP said the governor is among a section of selfish Coast leaders who are forcing the BBI on locals without fighting for the economic interests of the region. 

“We are blindly supporting the BBI without even knowing our fate as a region. We are being told to stop asking about historical land injustices ,the neglected coconut and cashew nut farming and even the stalled Ronald Ngala Utalii College," said Mr Baya. 

 Mr Baya argued that ODM party leader Raila Odinga cannot fight for the interests of the Coast people.

He argues that Mr Odinga was supporting the same government he claimed was oppressing the people. 

The legislator said that the people of Kisumu County are now celebrating because of the ongoing construction of a port.

“The Constitution states that ports and harbours are under county governments but Joho has failed to stop the port from being taken away from us because of his political interest. 

“We are losing out because Raila Odinga has clouded Governor Joho’s thinking,” said Mr Baya.

Mr Baya said the governor was supporting Raila on the new revenue allocation formula that will see coast counties lose out. 

“This kind of leadership will continue to subject the Coast to poverty .You have to admit first that you are poor for you to get out of poverty,” he said.