ODM rift widens in Baya, Joho row on Coast party

Governor Hassan Joho

Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho. 

What you need to know:

  • Mr Baya says Joho has very little understanding of historical, political and economic contexts of Coast region. 
  • MP’s remarks come after Joho tells ODM legislators supporting DP Ruto to resign and seek re-election.

Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party outcast Owen Baya has criticised Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho as being out of touch with issues affecting Coast region. 

In a press release issued on Monday evening, Mr Baya said Mr Joho had very little understanding of “the ideological, historical, political, economic and philosophical” contexts of the region. 

“Historically and ideologically, Coast region has never been safe with a Kenyatta-Odinga union, dating back to the days of [independence party] Kanu and that’s why Ronald Gideon Ngala partnered with other leaders from Western and Rift Valley to form Kadu,” the Kilifi North MP claimed, while revealing that a Coast party has already been formed and would be unveiled at the appropriate time. 

The MP’s remarks come a day after ODM deputy party leader Joho asked ODM legislators supporting Deputy President William Ruto and new political outfit United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party to resign and seek re-election.

The MP alleged that Mr Joho’s greatest political nightmare is the deputy President. He [Joho] was deluded if he thought linking the new Coast party with Mr Ruto would see it lose popularity.

“Governor Joho should discard the mental attitude that the Coast person cannot do anything unless aided by people from other regions,” he said. 

According to Mr Baya, the DP admired the zeal, determination and courage of Coast politicians to liberate the region. 

Regional party

He accused ODM party leader Raila Odinga of frustrating Coast politicians calling for the formation of a regional party. 

Mr Baya said the ‘Handshake’ pact between President Kenyatta and Mr Odinga was history repeating itself. 

He said founding President Jomo Kenyatta, who is the current President’s father, and his then vice-president Oginga Odinga, the ODM leader’s father, frustrated Ngala in his fight for the rights of the marginalised Coast community. 

“For the last two decades, the region has voted in the same patterns and lost, but Mr Joho and his family have continued to benefit economically and that is why he would do anything for the status quo to remain," he claimed. 

However, Kilifi County ODM deputy chairman Teddy Mwambire dismissed the claims.

“The people know who their friends are and it is not Ruto,” Mr Mwambire said.

The Ganze MP said it was “inconceivable for (the rebels) to imagine that the dream of all coastal people is to feed from the hands of William Ruto”. 

He said the Deputy President was part of the Jubilee administration that had failed to deliver the Coast from poverty. 

Mr Mwambire claimed that Mr Baya and fellow MPs Aisha Jumwa (Malindi),Paul Katana (Kaloleni) and Benjamin Tayari (Kinango) had all but in name defected from ODM. 

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