August 9

Kithi complicates Jumwa’s matrix in Kilifi contest

Monday, July 4th, 2022 03:20 | By
New headache for Jumwa as petitioners query degree
Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa. PHOTO/Aisha Jumwa (@HonJumwa)/Twitter.

The battle for Kilifi governor had long been packaged as an easy ride for United Democratic Alliance’s candidate Aisha Jumwa. Not any more.

 The entry of lawyer George Kithi of Governor Amason Kingi’s Pamoja African Alliance (PAA) threatens to eat into Jumwa’s constituency in the fight for the county’s 588,602 voters.

Both UDA and PAA are members of Deputy President William Ruto-led Kenya Kwanza Alliance.

There are fears among Ruto’s backers the intra-coalition competition could split their votes in favour of ODM’s candidate Gideon Mung’aro.

While Ruto has been pitching directly for Jumwa’s election, Kingi has been rallying for Kithi after the rivalry between the governor and Jumwa boiled over during Ruto’s recent visit to the county when their supporters engaged in shouting matches.

Jumwa has warned that Kithi’s candidature could cost them seat and asked Ruto to offer him an appointive post for him to withdraw from the race, an overture that the lawyer has rejected.

“I am kindly asking you (Ruto) to set aside an appointive seat for Kithi at the National government. Let him serve the country at that level, and allow me battle it out with our opponents in the race to succeed Kingi,” Jumwa said.

Jumwa at the same time appealed to Kingi to withdraw his candidate from the contest. “I am asking you (Kingi) to kindly allow your aunt and younger sister here, Aisha Jumwa, to run for governor under Kenya Kwanza Alliance.

It is only Aisha who has the political muscle to defeat Azimio-One Kenya candidate,” she added.

Kilifi has been voting for mostly ODM leaders in the past elections.  In 2017, ODM clinched all the seven parliamentary seats in Kilifi: Senate, Woman Rep, governor and 27 out of the 35 Ward Rep seats.

Besides party, issues of poverty, unemployment, land distribution, gender equity, questions around academic qualifications and tourism have featured prominently in the campaign. 

This year’s contest has taken a twist after Kingi pulled out of the Orange party, founded PAA and decamped to Ruto’s corner.

While traversing the county, Mung’aro has been promising the electorate that he will prioritise fishing, tourism, health and agriculture. He said he will also double the distribution of bursary funds if he wins the election.

Economic mainstay

“I will support the development of tourism, fishing and agriculture, which are the economic mainstay in this county. I am going to promote need-based development by doubling bursary,” he said while addressing the residents of Viragoni in Kaloleni.

 Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho traversed the county for three weeks campaigning for Mung’aro, saying he was ahead of the pack that ODM was dominant in the party.

 Mung’aro who contested in the 2017 polls garnered 55,107 votes against Kingi who emerged the winner with 213,174 votes. Mung’aro has vowed to shut out Kenya Kwanza brigade ahead of the August 9 elections.

The ODM candidate has asked Ruto to ‘forget Kilifi votes’.  Speaking in a series of political rallies in Baricho, Garashi and Migumoni in Garashi Ward, Magarini, Mung’aro and a group of leaders from the Coast termed the DP’s continued visit to the Coast as mere wild goose chase.

 According to Mung’aro, Kilifi has ‘already closed its vote basket’ for Raila.

 Others in the race are engineer Dzombo Mbaru of Safina, Michael Tinga (independent) and Francisco Esposito alias Kasoso wa Baya, another independent.

 Jumwa, who enjoys the support of women and youths, has expressed confidence that she will win the race.

 “I am telling my competitors that they will see dust,” Jumwa told residents of Kanagoni in Magarini sub-county.

 Jumwa also scored a major boost after Ruto endorsed her in their tour over the weekend.

 During the tour, Kingi, who was expected to welcome Ruto was nowhere to be seen despite being the principal Kenya Kwanza campaigner in the Coast region.

Kithi was conspicuously missing during the Kenya Kwanza rallies in Gotani and Mtomondoni. His supporters said Kithi stayed away because of the infighting between Kingi and Jumwa.

 But the governor told People Daily he missed the tour because he was in Nairobi on family business.

 “I have been away for seven days.  I have cancelled several functions because I had family issues to attend to,” Kingi said.  Kithi has vowed to fight poverty and illiteracy if elected.

“ I will serve the community with all my strength and wisdom. We will fight to ensure our children go to school, fight poverty, diseases and create jobs for our people,” he said.

Create jobs

Questions have been raised over both Mung’aro and Jumwa’s academic qualifications.

 Kilifi North MP Owen Baya, has, however, defended Jumwa’s academic qualifications.  Speaking recently at his residence in Kilifi, Baya said Jumwa went through a clear pathway to acquire her degree certificate.

 “Jumwa finished primary school in Takaungu and went to Ganze Girls Secondary School. When she was in Form Two her father married her off to a man but the marriage broke off,” the MP stated.

He continued: “In 2013 when she was elected as the Kilifi Woman Rep, she pursued a certificate in County Government and Management at Jomo Kenyatta University before advancing to a diploma in the same area.”

“In 2018, she went further and pursued degree in the same field, so you can find that Jumwa’s path way to a degree is very clear,” Baya said.

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