What you need to know:
- Mr Kingi confirmed that he had met with Mr Mudavadi, Mr Musyoka and Mr Wetang’ula and had held talks with them.
- Mr Kingi was ousted as Kilifi ODM chairperson and his position taken by Ganze MP Teddy Mwambire due to “poor leadership”.
After Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi announced he had ditched Raila Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), One Kenya Alliance (Oka) has begun talks with him to spearhead its campaign in the Coast.
The governor met Oka principals yesterday at Tamarind Hotel in Mombasa, in what was said to be initial talks as the alliance seeks to consolidate its support in the region ahead of next year’s polls.
Oka leaders Musalia Mudavadi of Amani National Congress (ANC), Kalonzo Musyoka (Wiper) and Ford-Kenya leader Moses Wetang’ula met Mr Kingi, once an ODM pillar in the region, before addressing journalists.
Though Mr Mudavadi did not want to talk more about the talks with Mr Kingi, Mr Musyoka said they welcome new members.
“Ukiona vyaelea, jua vyaundwa,” said Mr Musyoka, meaning Governor Kingi was there for a reason.
ANC deputy party leader Ayub Savula told the Nation that they had been looking for Mr Kingi to join their camp.
“Finally, our principals met him and he is welcomed. Once he has been welcomed by the principals, we give them backing to welcome more leaders into our camp,” Mr Savula said.
Regional political outfit
“The principals will discuss and agree whether to have him as part of them to represent the Coastal region. As ANC, we have given our party leader the mandate to seek a coalition with like-minded parties and individuals.”
Last week, leaders of five main Coast political parties from which Mr Kingi was seeking support to form a regional political outfit turned their backs on him, saying he could only negotiate with them once he acquires a political party as he had ditched ODM.
That happened just a few weeks after Mr Kingi was ousted as Kilifi ODM chairperson and his position taken by Ganze MP Teddy Mwambire due to “poor leadership” and friction with Mombasa Governor Hassan Ali Joho.
Immediately after yesterday’s meeting, Mr Kingi confirmed on his Twitter page that he had met with Mr Mudavadi, Mr Musyoka and Mr Wetang’ula and had held talks with them.
“Bumped into some of the principals of the Oka team in Mombasa; had a brief, impromptu discussion and that there is a need for further and structured engagement,” Mr Kingi said.
Though he left the table after speaking with the media, the move to Oka is seen as his alternative to survive politically to reassure his supporters that he still pulls the political strings after completing his second term as Kilifi governor next year.
Mr Kingi accepted ODM’s move to fire him and wished the party well in the next general election but decried betrayal by the party. Early this week, leaders of two of the five political parties, said talks with Mr Kingi collapsed a while back, and they will only allow him if he sings to their tune.
Bigger national cake
The five political parties, which united ahead of the next year’s polls include Shirikisho Party of Kenya, Kadu-Asili, Republican Congress Party of Kenya, Umoja Summit Party of Kenya, and the Communist party of Kenya to form a coalition dubbed the Coast Integrated Development Initiative (CIDI).
Kadu-Asili secretary general Gerald Thoya said they are yet to come up with a name of the political party and its colours which will be unveiled soon.
“It should be known that we are not working with Governor Kingi since he came in asking us to fold our parties and form new party, but we felt there was a trap. Since then, we continued with our agenda and we shall soon unveil our party,” said Mr Thoya.
He added, “We have asked him (Kingi) to come on the table to talk to us if he has a political party and not as an individual.”
Shirikisho Party of Kenya leader Adam Mbeto said the talks with Governor Kingi could not move further since he came in without a political party.
“We welcome him since he is for the idea, but he should know we have our own rules which he must abide to. He cannot come in as individual since he does not have the party and ODM Party is not with us,” said Mr Mbeto.
Mr Mbeto was optimistic the new coalition will help save Coast people and have a bigger national cake in the next government.