Rebel Kilifi MPs snub Raila Malindi rally

OPPOSITION rebel Kilifi county MPs yesterday snubbed the Okoa Kenya movement campaign meeting in Malindi.

The legislators, led by Gideon Mung’aro, who was recently removed by ODM as the minority chief whip in Parliament, Malindi MP Dan Kazungu, Mustafa Idd of Kilifi South, Kilifi Women’s rep Aisha Jumwa and Ganze MP Peter Shehe, boycotted the rally, despite heavy criticism from fellow leaders.

The only local leaders present at the county rally were Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi, Senator Stewart Madzayo and several MCAs, displaying the strong rebellion that has been mounted by legislators angered by Mung’aro’s sacking by the Cord leadership.

Consequently, Raila Odinga for the first time received a low turnout by Coast residents who normally attend such rallies in Malindi in large numbers.

The Malindi Municipal Stadium where the meeting was held did not fill as the Cord principals took their referendum campaigns to the resort city.

Cord leaders and the Kilifi MCAs accused the MPs of betraying their party by boycotting the meeting in their backyard.

Those not from the region who were present were Mombasa Senator Hassan Omar, Cord Co-principal Moses Wetang’ula, Bungoma Senator Bonny Khalwale, and Busia Women’s rep Florence Mutua, among others.

When he took to the podium, Raila accused those who had dumped Cord for Jubilee of being greedy and going against the people’s wishes.

Odinga broke ranks with the rebel MPs when he accused Mung’aro of working with the ruling Jubilee and appointed Wundanyi MP Thomas Mwadegu to replace him.

Mung’aro has defended his decision to work with the Jubilee government, saying it was the only way for his constituency to benefit from the government.

Raila urged Kilifi residents to support the referendum. He said the public vote aimed to have more funds devolved to the counties and speed up development.

“Our aim is to end the problem faced by wananchi of waiting for funds from the national government. We need to take power and devolve it to the counties,” he said.

Odinga gave a list of the issues which he said had forced Cord to begin pushing for the referendum.

“Those joining the government are taking the country back into the old era. Whoever wants to go to Jubilee is doing it for personal interests. Our aim is to come up with a formula which will enable each community to get its equal share of resources,’’ he said.

Wetang’ula said the devolved funds were provided for in the constitution.

Kingi told the residents to decide whether they needed more funds in the counties. He warned them against seeking more services if they reject the referendum.

– the-star.co.ke

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