Hassan Joho meets MCAs to counter William Ruto effect
4 months ago, 15 Aug 00:52
Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho has moved to “neutralise” the impact of Deputy President William Ruto’s frequent visits to the Coast by meeting all the region's ward representatives in Mombasa on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, a number of MCAs from Mombasa, Lamu, Kilifi, Tana River, Taita-Taveta and Kwale counties, irrespective of political affiliation, confirmed that they would attend as Mr Joho strives to counter the trend that has seen many local MPs coalescing around Mr Ruto.
The quest for unity between Mr Joho and his Kilifi counterpart, Mr Amason Kingi, also got a boost, following reports that the latter will attend the event.
Both Mr Kingi and Mr Joho have announced their intentions to vie for the presidency in 2022, with each hoping to consolidate the region’s base in his favour.
But Mr Ruto has visited the six Coast counties 10 times since the March 9 “handshake”, and appeared to have made inroads, with some local leaders vowing to back him for the presidency. Mr Kingi has also attended some of Mr Ruto’s events.
Mr Joho’s handlers told the Nation that the governor had been irked by the backing Ruto got from local MPs and now wants to work directly with the MCAs to consolidate his base.
“That is why the governor has decided to fund the meeting with MCAs because they have a huge say at the grass roots and could make matters difficult for the MPs, as happened to those who defected to Jubilee before last year’s election,” an MP close to Mr Joho who asked not to be named said.
On Tuesday, the MCAs warned that the supremacy battle between the two governors could derail the region's unity and development, and scuttle their bids for the presidency.
Thirty-three MCAs from Taita-Taveta said they would attend the meeting since it was called by their deputy party leader.
Majority Leader Jason Tuja said: “We respect Governor Joho because he is our (ODM) deputy party leader. So we will honour the invite.”
VOUCHED FOR UNITY
Mr Tuja said the MCAs did not know the agenda of the meeting but vouched for unity between the region's leaders.
Mboghonyi MCA Jones Maskuj said they were discussing an agenda to present to the meeting from Taita-Taveta county.
The Jubilee member said they had no objection to attending the meeting, in the spirit of the "building bridges" initiative.
“We embraced the handshake between our party leaders. We have no problem with Governor Joho’s invite,” he said.
But Wundanyi MP Danson Mwashako warned that the rivalry between Mr Joho and Mr Kingi could complicate unity.
“The moment we start having this kind of division, we lose our common stand. The two governors must work together for this region’s benefit in 2022,” he said.
Kayafungo MCA Alphonce Mwayaa, the Kilifi Assembly majority chief whip, said they will consult Mr Kingi ...
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