The Star (Nairobi)

29 November 2012

Kenya: Maitha Son Eyes Kisauni

FORMER powerful Coast minister Karisa Maitha's son James is now eyeing the Kisauni parliamentary seat that his father held for seven years.

James had initially declared interest in the new Kilifi South parliamentary seat. He has stayed in the constituency for the better part of his 27 years and has most of his business interests there.

The third born of the late Maitha's first of three wives, Rachael, has now set eyes on the constituency where his father made a name as the then undisputed king of Coast politics.

James, who holds a Diploma in Business Administration from Graffins College in Nairobi, said he shifted focus after a delegation of elders from Kisauni including his father's campaigners urged him to vie for the Kisauni seat.

"They told me Mzee had many plans for the constituency that are pending and wanted me to complete them," James told the Star on phone yesterday.

He said among the pending projects include building of a girls secondary school in the constituency, other road projects and some community development projects.

Maitha, who was President Kibaki's pointman in the region, died on August 26, 2004 in Germany after a sudden illness while on an official trip. He was in his second term as Kiasuni MP.

James has joined Mvita MP Najib Balala's Republican Congress Party through which he will vie for the seat. He however said he might sacrifice his ambitions, if need be, to build the party.

"We are still talking in the party. If we feel we still need to build the party first, I will sacrifice my ambitions, take a party position and build it first," said James.

He said the RC has the greatest chance of uniting Kenyans since it has its base at the Coast, which hosts majority of the 45 communities in the country. "To understand RC, you have to understand the Coastal and Kenyan history because Kenya was born in the Coast," he said.

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