Uhuru splits Coast MPs from Raila-Coast Parliamentary meeting end in dissaray
PRESIDENT Uhuru Kenyatta has moved to politically split the Cord stronghold of Coast. The region voted overwhelmingly for Cord Leader Raila Odinga in the 2013 Presidential election
Yesterday the President met all Members of Parliament from Kwale, together with Governor Salim Mvurya and Senator Boy Juma Boy, at State House, Nairobi where he promised them development goodies if they backed his Jubilee Administration
The other leaders in the delegation were Kinango MP Gonzi Rai, Lunga Lunga MP Khatib Mwashetani, Matuga MP Hassan Mwanyoha and Kwale Women’s Rep Zeinab Chidzuga.
But other Cord leaders, led by Mombasa Senator Hassan Omar and Governor Ali Hassan Joho, told off their Kwale colleagues. “The Governor is control of eight billion shillings, the MPs have CDF, what other development are they looking for? If they are men and women enough, they should resign and seek re-election as independents or as Jubilee members,” said Omar.
Apart from completing the tarmacking of the Samburu-Kinango-Kwale road, the President also promised the leaders that his government will develop a water supply system at Mkanda Dam.
“This road is a priority this year and we will put emphasis on it so that we can open up the economy of the county,” said the President.
President Kenyatta instructed Environment, Water and Natural Resources Cabinet Secretary Judy Wakhungu, who attended the meeting, to undertake feasibility studies and support the county in finishing the project.
“I want this project completed as soon as possible,” said the President. The Head of State further promised immediate upgrading of Ukunda Airstrip, development of a fishing port at Shimoni and fast-tracking of issuing of title deeds to residents of Kwale.
In Parliament a resolution to kick out Kilifi North MP Gideon Mung’aro as the National Assembly Minority Whip also divided Coast MPs and threatened to dismember the Opposition in the region.
A Coast Parliamentary Group meeting to deliberate on the matter ended in dissaray after Jubilee-allied lawmakers from the region, including National Assembly Deputy Majority Leader Naomi Shaban, joined the gathering.C
“It was a Coast PG, not a Cord one,” said Shaban. MPs supporting Mungaro’S removal from the plum job walked out in protest as the troubled Chief Whip marshalled support to stay put.
After heated deliberations in a closed-door meeting, a section of Coast MPs led by Mvita lawmaker Abdullswamad Shariff (ODM) dismissed the Cord decision as “unlawful, biased and discriminatory”.
The MPs maintained that the Coalition was becoming “dictatorial and undemocratic”. “As members of Cord, we would like to reiterate that we earned the position of the Minority Chief Whip. It was not given to us as a favour,” Shariff said in protest.
He added: “The Cord resolution is unlawful and biased in that the principles of natural justice dictate that nobody shall be condemn unheard.” The MPs insisted that other Cord leaders, including Minority Leader Francis Nyenze, his deputy Jakoyo Midiwo and Minority Deputy Whip Chris Wamalwa should all take responsibility for the Opposition’s poor showing in Parliament.
However, the legislators declined to state their political game-plan if Cord Co-Principals Raila, Kalonzo Musyoka and Moses Wetang’ula disregarded their protests.
The MPs said that they “will cross that bridge when we get there”, even as they maintained they are members of Cord. “We are not saying that we will quit the party. Tuko ndani ya Cord, tuko ndani ya ODM,” declared Kilifi South MP Mustapha Idd (we remain members of Cord and members of ODM).
But the Star has established that Mungaro’s fate is sealed. During Cord’s joint PG on Tuesday chaired by the three Opposition chiefs, the meeting unanimously resolved to strip him of the position for allegedly “having one foot in Jubilee”.
Consequently, the yesterday’s PG was meant to decide on his replacement, with Wundanyi MP Thomas Mwadeghu being touted as a possible candidate.
The Opposition has vowed to crack the whip on renegades and has warned that they risk stern disciplinary action, including being forced to seek a fresh mandate.
Mwingi North MP John Munuve, his Budalang’i counterpart Ababu Namwamba, Kwale Women’s Rep Zeinab Chidzuga and Kajiado Central MP Joseph Nkaissery are among those said to be on the spot.
Only12 Cord MPs signed against Mung’aro’s removal, with the others being Jubilee-allied MPs from TNA, URP and UDF. “The Principals were just waiting for the new name before writing to the Speaker to change the leadership,” a Coast MP said.