DISGRUNTLED Wiper Party politician at the Coast have threatened to defect to Jubilee in protest. Senior party officials say they have been patient since April but can no longer stomach their frustration with ODM’s ‘tyranny of numbers.’The have now formed Mombasa Movement for Change as a voice of the opposition.
Movement vice chairman Sureya Hersi said Wiper MPs and MCAs hoped the ODM majority would collaborate but have only been further marginalised from Cord decision-making.
“I think the Wiper members have themselves to blame. These are the same issues that were raised when we formed the opposition movement, whose chairman is also a Wiper party member,” said Hersi yesterday.
The Movement for Change chairman is Wiper’s Suleiman Shahbal who lost the race for Mombasa governor to ODM’s Hassan Joho.
The secretary Jackie Bwire is a Wiper member who unsuccessfully stood for the Likoni parliamentary seat won by ODM’s Masoud Mwahima.Bwire was part of the Mombasa Wiper delegation who met party boss Kalonzo Musyoka at the Reef Hotel in Mombasa last weekend.
The delegation included Wiper Mombasa senator Hassan Omar, Jomvu MP Badi Twalib, Nyali MP Awiti Bolo, Wiper Mombasa coordinator Afiya Rama and Shahbal‘s chief campaigner Nyonga Wa Makemba.
“The county assembly is monolithic as it is comprised of a single party, ODM. The lack of pluralism in the assembly has created the need for an alternative opposition to keep the county government in check,” Bwire said.
Likoni MP Mwahima has complained that governor Joho has sidelined his constituency. But Joho has denied the claims saying he has appointed Binti Omar as the county executive for agriculture.
Yesterday, Hersi told Mwahima to join the Wiper brigade fighting for involvement in running Mombasa.The Wiper delegation told Kalonzo that ODM treat them like rivals yet they are part of the Cord coalition. They say they were never involved in the choice of nominated MCAs and the county executive committee was picked without their input.
“We fought to be in Cord. Mombasa is biased against us. One side of the coalition take it that Cord is ODM. We support Cord, but we want equality,” said Bolo.
“We feel we should have been given some consideration given we also won some elective positions in the county. We are being sidelined,” said Makemba.
ODM bagged all the 30 elective civic seats in Mombasa. All 15 nominated slots were also taken up by ODM. The Wiper members argue that ODM should have handed them at least three MCA slots as a sign of brotherhood.
But Joho’s political advisor Idris Abdirahman said ODM followed the law in the nomination of MCAs.“Nomination of seats to the assembly is carried out according to the party strength. There was no one elected to the county assembly on any other ticket other than ODM,” he said yesterday. He said it is against the law to nominate an MCA from a party that has no representation in the assembly.
But Rama said the Cord principals must sit down and sort the matter out.
Changamwe MP Omar Mwinyi, of ODM, said the Wiper irritation may be because MPs have so far been concentrating on their constituencies and have not looked at county initiatives.
“There is almost no major participation at the county level. This is a feeling that cuts across even on us ODM members. The governor must now look into this issue and unite us,” Mwinyi said.
He said some Wiper members have sidelined themselves and singled out senator Omar who allegedly does not respond to invitations. Omar declined to comment yesterday.
On Saturday, Kalonzo said ODM and Wiper must accord each other equal respect. He said the two parties got about the same number of seats in Mombasa.
ODM got six seats including the governorship and five parliamentary seats (Kisauni, Likoni, Changamwe, Mvita and women representative position) while Wiper bagged three seats including Mombasa senator and Jomvu and Nyali constituencies.