Coast legislators plot ODM walkout

Kilifi North MP Owen Baya. IMAGE/COURTESY

Kilifi North MP Owen Baya on Wednesday, July 29, announced that plans were underway to launch a new political outfit for the Coast region. The ODM lawmaker based his announcement on ODM party leader Raila Odinga’s decision to back the third basis formula of revenue allocation across counties.

“I can tell you without fear or a shadow of a doubt that we are ready with a political party,” the legislator affirmed.

He went on to reveal that legislators from various factions including the ruling Jubilee Party had been burning the midnight oil to iron out various details regarding the workings of the proposed party.

This comes barely a week after he teamed up with ‘ODM rebel’ and Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa, and openly called for other coastal leaders to ditch the Raila-led party.

The legislators further detailed their intentions to lobby other leaders in the North Eastern Region to join them under the new formation.

Galole MP Said Hirbae who doubles up as the Coast Parliamentary Group Chairman, backed his colleagues’ statement, adding that consultations were well underway.

He also explained that with 41 elective posts in the region, a unified front would increase the region’s bargaining power.

The legislator expressed his optimism regarding joining forces with leaders from the North Eastern region as well, bring the total number of available elective posts to 73.

ODM’s decision to overlook leaders from the region for coveted parliamentary committees was also mooted as a major reason behind the decision to break away.

With both Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho and his Kilifi Counterpart Governor Kingi serving their last terms in office, this effectively presents a viable power vacuum in the vote-rich region, which could also be argued as a motivator for defiant MPs to make their move now.

The Kilifi North MP, while addressing the media, made it clear that their new political outfit would be launched before the 2022 General Elections.