Kenya: ODM and Kingi Party to Sign Coalition Pact

17 September 2021

Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi's Pamoja African Alliance (Paa) party is headed for a coalition agreement with opposition leader Raila Odinga's Orange democratic Movement (ODM) after the county chief turned down calls to join Deputy President William Ruto's camp.

Governor Kingi, who ditched ODM two months ago to form Paa, will meet Mr Odinga to sign a memorandum of understanding at the official launch of the party scheduled to take place before the end of this month.

Mr Kingi has reportedly declined several calls to join Dr Ruto's United Democratic Alliance (UDA), saying, Coast residents would only be adequately represented if they had their own party.

On Thursday, Paa adviser and Kilifi South MP Michael Kingi, who is the governor's brother, confirmed to the Nation that the ODM leader will be the chief guest during the launch of the party late this month.

Opened offices

"We have opened offices in six counties in Coast region and a total of 30 others in different counties across the country. In the meantime, we are completing preparations for the launch of the party and Mr Odinga is expected to attend the ceremony," said the Kilifi South MP.

"We are fighting for the whole region and not an individual, that is why Governor Kingi turned down offers by UDA to join the party. He was promised a Cabinet position if he joined UDA but he felt that was not enough for Coast region and that is why he is soldiering on with plans to form a party to represent Coast people," said the MP.

The return of Governor Kingi to ODM could help the orange party maintain its stronghold in the region considering the role the governor played in the 2017 General Election to ensure ODM secured all seven parliamentary seats, as well as the governorship, senator and woman rep seats.

Majority of seats

Through Mr Kingi, ODM bagged a majority of seats in the Kilifi County assembly, clinching 27 out of the 35 slots.

Efforts to reach Governor Kingi for comment on the UDA offers were futile as he did not respond to our texts, but he has on several occasions said he would not negotiate for the interests of the Coast people as an individual but as a region.

A month ago during the funeral of Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya's mother in Samburu, the second-term governor vowed he would not join Dr Ruto's UDA party.

"For how long will Coast resident continue to be political tenants? I won't join you since we must have our own house," he said. Mr Kingi, who is serving his second and final term as governor, has been accused by some Kilifi politicians of positioning himself to continue running the county by proxy after the elections in August next year.

Strategic platform

Kilifi North MP Owen Baya on Wednesday said the governor wanted to use Paa as a strategic platform through which he would continue running the county to protect his interests.

"Somebody wants to control the next county government remotely and, if we continue to support Paa, we risk losing jobs and resources in the next government," alleged Mr Baya.

In a quick rejoinder, the governor's brother dismissed Mr Baya's claims, claiming that the latter was being used by UDA to destabilise Paa because the new outfit had proved to be a threat.

"These people who are talking about Paa should tell us the parties they are working with and what is there for our people. Are they supporting other parties because of their self-interests, or is it about something that can benefit the whole region?" the Kilifi South MP posed.

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