Betrayal claims as Kadu-Asili disrupts Coast unity talks

coast parties coalition

Officials of Coast Integrated Development Initiative during a press briefing in Voi, Taita Taveta County. Coastal parties have formed a coalition to block major parties from the region.

Photo credit: Lucy Mkanyika I Nation Media Group.

What you need to know:

  • The Kadu-Asili party announced its move to join One Kenya Alliance on Tuesday.
  • The party was among a group of five engaged in discussions to form an alliance that seeks to champion the region’s fair share of the national cake in the next government, besides Shirikisho, Umoja Summit, Republican Congress and Communist Party of Kenya.
  • Shirikisho secretary-general Adam Mbeto said they had summoned Kadu-Asili leadership to explain their move and intentions.
  • Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi’s move to associate himself with a newly formed party, Pamoja African Alliance (PAA), was the initial open sign of trouble in efforts to achieve Coast unity, which has been elusive.

Claims of betrayal and backstabbing have once again emerged from efforts by a section of Coast politicians to form a formidable alliance ahead of the next General Election.

This comes after the Kadu-Asili party announced on Tuesday its decision to join One Kenya Alliance.

The party, one of the oldest in Coast region, was among a group of five that engaged in discussions to form an alliance aiming to champion the region’s fair share of the national cake in the next government.

Others are Shirikisho, Umoja Summit, Republican Congress and Communist Party of Kenya.

In July, the parties had announced the formation of two caucuses - Coast Political Parties Convention (CPPC) and Coast Integrated Development Initiative (CIDI) - that were supposed to guide their agreements and help in formulating a manifesto that they expect to use in negotiations at the national level.

In an interview with Nation.Africa, Shirikisho secretary-general Adam Mbeto said they had summoned the Kadu-Asili leadership to explain their move and intentions.

“We only learnt about their move in the media like many other Kenyans. We are expecting to have a meeting next week so that they can explain to us what good agenda they saw in OKA. They must give us an official communique,” he said.

Kadu-Asili, he said, was still involved and represented in the talks by parties to form a Coast coalition and so its move came as a shock.

He denied the possibility that the rest of the parties would follow suit.

“Our aim is to ensure that we have a strong platform to defend the rights of our communities. The coastal region has a history of suffering historical injustices, economically and lacking a voice on major decision-making. OKA leaders are yet to convince us that they have an agenda to solve these issues,” he explained.

Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi’s move to associate himself with a newly formed party, Pamoja African Alliance (PAA), was the initial open sign of trouble in efforts to achieve Coast unity.

The governor had been at the forefront calling for the dissolution of the five parties to form a single, strong Coast-based political outfit.
Earlier in August, Mr Kingi hinted that he would join OKA when he held secret talks with the coalition’s leaders in Mombasa.

The pending official launch of PAA is expected to give the second-term governor, who was stripped of his position as Kilifi County ODM chairman, a platform to come out strongly on his next political move.

In previous events, Mr Kingi decried betrayal, saying that he started the journey of uniting Coast leaders politically with a group of politicians who later left him in the cold.

Some of the politicians, mostly ODM members, stuck to their current parties as others shifted loyalty to the United Democratic Alliance (UDA), which is associated with Deputy President William Ruto.

Kadu-Asili leader Gerald Thoya defended his party's move to join OKA, saying that the party leadership were convinced that the coalition is capable of solving the challenges affecting the Coast region.

“Those issues that Coast communities have been complaining about, we have found where they can be addressed. Most other alliances are very rigid. They just believe in them only. OKA has sober leaders ready to offer revolutionary ideas,” he said.

The party was welcomed into the fold by Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka, his Amani National Congress counterpart Musalia Mudavadi, and Kanu secretary-general Nick Salat, who represented his chairman Gideon Moi at an event in Nairobi.

“Trust is crucial. As we approach the next elections, ask yourself the fundamental question: Who can you trust with this country?” Mr Mudavadi said.

Mr Musyoka said the door is still open for other parties to join OKA, as Mr Salat assured Kadu-Asili that the coalition is best placed to solve the challenges affecting the Coast region.
 
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