Five Coast senators out to defend positions in 2022
Harrison Kivisu and Munira Mandano
Five out of the six elected Coast senators have opted to defend their seats even as a number of their colleagues indicate that they will retreat to their backyards to contest the governorship.
Senators Mohamed Faki (Mombasa) Issa Boy (Kwale), Juma Wario (Tana River) and Stewart Madzayo (Kilifi) as well as their Taita Taveta counterpart Jones Mwaruma have indicated they will defend their seats.
Only Lamu senator Anwar Oloitiptip has declared he will contest the governorship currently held by Fahim Twaha.
Faki told People Daily he will be seeking a re-election through the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM).
Faki, a close ally of governor Hassan Joho who is the ODM deputy leader. The Orange party controls the majority of elected members of the Mombasa County Assembly.
“I have no intention of vying for the gubernatorial position. I will be defending my seat through ODM party.
There is a lot of work that needs to be done before I can start thinking of vying for governor.
I need more time to put up more structures in terms of infrastructure before I can vie for the position,” said Faki.
Senator Boy has said he will defend his seat in the 2022 General Election.
Speaking to People Daily on phone Boy said he will stick to ODM.
“I will never shift camp. I will stick to ODM and Raila Odinga,” Boy said.
Locals support Raila
Senator Boy also said that ODM’s strength in Kwale is still very intact and believes that the locals will support Raila who is the party leader for the presidency.
“The last Msambweni by-election should not mislead people to think that locals in Kwale have politically changed against Baba.
Their support for ODM and Raila is still there,”he said in reference to the by-election, which was won by independent candidate Feisal Bader, an ally of Deputy President William Ruto.
He noted that the other political leaders keep on visiting Kwale and Coast every now and then wooing locals to support them in 2022 will be shocked in 2022.
“You can take this to the bank. Politicians who keep visiting the Coast are in for a rude shock,” he said.
Ruto has been aggressively campaigning to wrest the region out of Raila’s grip with the help of his stalwarts led by Kwale governor Salim Mvurya and Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa.
Boy said the Msambweni constituents voted on the basis of individual record and not political parties.
“The results of that by election should not be used to weigh the strength of the party.
Therefore people should stop the propaganda by claiming that ODM is dead in Kwale,” he said.
Senator Boy was elected in 2017 after the death of his elder brother Boy Juma Boy who was the pioneer Kwale senator.
Those who have shown interest in the Kwale Senate seat include Coast Development Authority (CDA) director Mshenga Vuya Ruga and Kasemeni ward MCA Antony Yama.
In Taita Taveta, senator Jones Mwaruma told People Daily he has no intention of contesting for governorship.
“I will be seeking reelection as senator for Taita Taveta,” Mwaruma said.
Pundits say Mwaruma, an ODM senator, may not have the political muscle to unseat incumbent Granton Samboja.
Madzayo’s handlers also indicated the Kilifi ODM senator was keen to defend his seat.
Madzayo was re-elected to the Senate in the 2017 General Election on an ODM ticket after beating his close competitor Kennedy Nyale of the Jubilee party.
A close Raila ally, Madzayo replaced his Kakamega‘s Cleophas Malalah of Amani National Congress (ANC) as the deputy minority leader.
Malalah was removed after 20 ODM senators signed a petition to replace him in March.
“It is sad that some people from the Coast are making the wrong interpretation about my elevation to this position.
This is a national position that is occupied by one of their own and they ought to embrace it,” Madzayo said on March 28,2021.
He said his position will help him champion challenges facing people at the Coast.
The retired judge will however going against the tide by his governor Amason Kingi who has ditched ODM and founded a political party which he said will be region’s political vehicle on the national stage.
In Tana River, senator Wario is also said to be seeking re-election to senate, according to sources close to him.
But Lamu senator Oloitiptip will fight to unseat Twaha on Ruto’s United Democratic Alliance party (UDA).
He told People Daily that his objective is to address unemployment among the youth.
Oloitiptip however acknowledged it would be a big fight to unseat Twaha who is known for his deep pockets. He says majority of senators have weak financial bases.
“My motivation is my fellow youths in Lamu County who have advised me to go for the top seat, considering they are the one who supported me when I was vying for the senator position,” said Oloitiptip.