Kilifi Governor Amason Jeffah Kingi, Founder of PAA Party(bottom). Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa with Kilifi North MP Owen Baya (Founders of UDA Party). PHOTO//COURTESY
As we approach the next general elections, Kilifi County is becoming an epicenter of Kenyan politics. We give credit to the outgoing Governor Amason Jeffah Kingi for his political bravery and boldness. But we also need to laud the other leaders from Kilifi county who have found their way to national political stage. These are Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa and her Kilifi North Counterpart Owen Baya. But again, there Ganze MP Teddy Mwambire who has stood firm with his ODM party as he currently occupies the Party position previously occupied by Kingi (Kilifi ODM Chairman).
As at now, all eyes are on Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi as he is about to launch his mega national political party (newly-registered Pamoja Africa Alliance-PAA). This vessel is promising to redeem the Coast’s hope for local political emancipation long waited after the end of the era of independent politics fronted through KADU by Ronald Gideon Ngala. Kingi has been very vocal with appetizing local political idioms symbolizing a very strong unifying ideology resonating well with the coastal masses.
On the other hand, the two MPs (Owen and Aisha) have launched an aggressive campaign to market the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) Party in Kilifi County. In doing so, they have jointly appeared in key functions and anyone listening to them will notice a common pattern in their flow of words: hitting hard on Governor Kingi’s current political moves as well as amplify UDA as the party of choice for Kilifi people. Both are accusing governor Kingi of pursuing self interests instead of those of Kilifi people-sentiments subscribed by Ganze MP Teddy Mwambire. They insist that, UDA is a national party and they are part of the founder members who were fully involved in establishing and shaping it to its current existence while PAA is just a party for Governor Kingi and his Kilifi cronies.
Kingi claims that before he established PAA, he consulted everyone including Teddy, Aisha and Owen. All leaders from the coast sounded very supportive of the local party idea apart from Kwale Women MP, Zuleikha Hassan. In fact Owen went ahead with the preliminary registration process while Aisha picked Kadu Asili as her local party of choice before her fall out with the party officials. Kingi managed parallel consultative processes: one with Coast elected leaders and the other with 4 coast based political parties (Umoja Summit, Kadu Asili, Shirikisho and Republican Congress). Failure to timely reach consensus in both consultations led Kingi to move ahead and registrar PAA, a move that has kindled political emotions locally and nationally.
Kingi is yet to roll out a grassroots campaign for his party. I think he is waiting for it to be officially unveiled then he will be criss crossing the country (not just Kilifi) to market PAA and recruit as many aspirants as possible to use PAA as their party for their 2022 election. But before that happens, the organization, coordination, branding and structure/infrastructure development of PAA is worthy commending. So far PAA has over 30 physical offices in over 30 counties across Kenya. PAA will be headquartered in Mombasa and the party has registered almost 1m Kenyans as PAA members in less than 2 weeks. These are convincing political results.
UDA official colour is yellow while PAA is blue. Both political sides have vowed to paint Kilifi with their party colours and build strong waves likely to sweep the entire county. UDA is determined to paint Kilifi Yellow while PAA is also committed to colour Kilifi Blue. All this episodes in Kilifi will target the Kilifi voter. UDA wants their presidential candidate William Samoei Ruto to win majority Kilifi numbers, but they also want to form the next Kilifi County Government under Aisha Jumwa as the Governor. PAA on the other hand is yet to declare their presidential candidate as well as Kilifi Governor Candidate. Who knows, maybe that Presidential Candidate will be Governor Kingi. But for Kilifi devolution power, PAA just like UDA is highly determined to win all seats (35 MCA seats, 7 MPs Seats, 1 women rep seat, 1 Senator Seat, Governor and Deputy). They also want to control the next county assembly just like the way ODM is having the majority in the assembly now.
As the famous African proverb goes, “when elephants fight, the grass gets trampled”, meaning the ever-growing population of victims is civilians being referred as the grass. The game might be tough moving ahead and sometimes will be more ugly to watch. The rhetoric, character and intensity of these two forces (add the third of ODM) will shape Kilifi politics for the next one year. It’s all about power games. Who will win this? Let’s wait and see!
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