Defiant Coast leaders widen rift in Opposition over Ruto

A section of Coast leaders have said they will continue to drum support for DP William Ruto despite wrangles that the move has caused within the Opposition.

Led by Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa, the lawmakers maintained that the unity deal between President Uhuru Kenyatta and NASA leader Raila Odinga called for peaceful coexistence.

“I am working with Deputy President William Ruto because my party leader Raila Odinga embraced the handshake with President Kenyatta.

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“He (Raila) said it’s over; it’s water under the bridge, we need to work together and focus on the future. That’s what we are doing and there should be no problem with this,” Ms Jumwa said.

Speaking during a rally at Vanga grounds in Kwale County, the legislator further noted that supporting the Government is the only way to address the challenges facing Coastal residents.

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Coastal residents at Vanga Grounds in Kwale County on July 7, 2018. Photo/DPPS

“We are tired of leaders engaging in empty rhetoric at the expense of development. That’s why we want to work with those who are committed to solving problems facing our people,” said Ms Jumwa.

DP Ruto, who was present at the function, responded saying the Government is ready to work with leaders from across the political divide.

He noted that the time for politics is over and leaders should focus their energy on development.

“What I am doing is what I was elected to do and I wonder why some people are complaining. I have not complained about other peoples work. Everyone should do his or her work,” he said.

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“Some leaders should not be scared of the teamwork between Jubilee and Opposition leaders because we are embracing all Kenyans whether they voted for us or not,” the DP added.

Msambweni MP Suleiman Dori, who is also the Coast Parliamentary Group Chairman, said they would not stop supporting the Jubilee Government.

“We are working together on matters of development. Time for elections is over and that’s why we are embracing unity and teamwork in solving people’s problems,” he said.

On his part, Lunga Lunga MP Khatib Mwashetani lauded DP Ruto for visiting different parts of the country to launch various projects.

His Galole counterpart Hiribae Buya however faulted Coastal residents for supporting Opposition leaders saying they have not benefitted from it over the years.

“We have to organize our house as Coast people so that we become part and parcel of the next government,” Mr. Baya said.

Other MPs at the Vanga meeting were Stanley Muthama (Lamu West), Sharrif Athman (Lamu East), Gertrude Mbeyu (Women Rep, Kilifi), Lydia Haika (Women Rep, Taita Taveta), Christine Zawadi (nominated) and Owen Baya (Kilifi North).

Jones Mwaruma (Taita Taveta), Kazim Tandaza (Matuga), Benjamin Tayari (Kinango), Andrew Mwadime (Mwatate) and Chief Administrative Secretary Gideon Mungaro (Lands) were also present.

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