Coast politicians have told opposition leader Raila Odinga to forget their support come 2022 as his time in politics is up.
The leaders, including a governor and about 20 Members of Parliament, said they have backed Mr Odinga, who is Orange Democratic Movement leader, for years yet the Coast has not benefited from development projects.
Speaking during the opening of Mprirani Primary School in Kwale County on Saturday, a function that Deputy President William Ruto presided over, the leaders said their “political marriage” with Mr Odinga was over.
“The announcement that our friend wants to contest for the presidency is not news to us. He did the same thing in 2007, 2013 and 2017. He might even do the same in 2032. We have no business with him because we know where we are going,” said
Governor Salim Mvurya.
“We don’t look for individuals who announce that they will contest for the presidency. We are not looking for those who jump left and right but those who are with us and are directing their energies on development like our brother William Ruto.”
Lawmaker Suleiman Dori (Msamweni) said Coast voters are enlightened so they will not be misled into supporting individuals who “end up losing in every election because they have no development track record”.
“This time round, we have decided to support Mr Ruto and Jubilee Party for the sake of development. This region can only be built by leaders who have the interests of our people at heart,” said Mr Dori.
MP Ali Mbogo (Kisauni) said Kenyans are tired of Mr Odinga’s theatrics so Coast residents should stand with Mr Ruto as he is committed to solving their problems.
“Indications are that Mr Odinga will contest in 2022. We want to tell him as early as this not to count on our support. We have given him enough support. It is time we supported Mr Ruto,” he said.
Aisha Jumwa (Malindi) asked the people to chart their own political destiny and support leaders who have their interests at heart.
“We did not vote for Jubilee last year but the deputy president is with us on matters development. The time for someone to play with our politics is over. We are not waiting anymore for anyone to tell us where we are going because we already know where we are ahead of 2022,” said Ms Jumwa.
Owen Baya (Kilifi North) told the Mijikenda community to prepare to chart its own path ahead of the next general election, when he said it will not be business as usual in national politics.
“We have been misused for a long time. We have to change tack and support Ruto so as to be part of the next government,” he said.
Politician Benjamin Tayari (Kinango) told Coast residents to prepare to support leaders who are development-conscious.
“We should say ‘no’ to leaders who want to use us a ladder to achieve their selfish gains while offering us nothing in development. Mr Ruto has stood with us at all times. We have to support him for the presidency in 2022.”
Mohammed Ali (Nyali) said the Coast has lagged behind in development for too long because of political rhetoric.
Others present were Ali Wario (Bura), Hashaka Wario (Garsen), Senator Juma Wario (Tana River) Said Haribae (Golale), Senator Anuar Toitiptip (Lamu), Badi Twalib (Jomvu), Stanley Muthama (Lamu West), Danson Mwashako (Wundanyi) and Shariff Ali (Lamu East)
Khatib Mwashetani (Lunga Lunga), Michel Kingi (Magarini) and Gertrude Mbeyu (Kilifi), Lydia Haika (Taita Taveta) and former MP Gideon Mungaro also attended the function.
Mr Ruto said Jubilee is ready to work with all leaders, irrespective of their political affiliations, for the sake of unity and development.
He said politics based on ethnicity, religion and parties has been overtaken by events in the 21stcentury, where leadership is about service delivery.
“We are here with all these leaders today on matters development because elections ended last year. It’s now time to deliver on the promises we made Kenyans,” said Mr Ruto.
The deputy president noted that the transformation agenda can only be achieved when leaders focus on water, electricity, roads, health, education and other projects.
Mr Ruto said Kwale has been allocated Sh 500 million for the Last Mile electricity project targeting 15,000 homes.
He issued title deeds for the Kigato, Mwabuko, Kombani and Kasemeni settlement schemes before opening Tiwi Girls secondary School in Matuga constituency as well as Mkwakwani Primary School in Msamweni Constituency.