Just weeks after leaders from Central Kenya led by the tanga tanga trio of Kiharu member of parliament Ndindi Nyoro, his Kikuyu counterpart Kimani Ichungwa and Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua forwarded their list of expectations to the Deputy President, whose fulfillment, they made clear, would be a precondition for their support in 2022, now Coastal leaders have taken a similar path.
During DP William Ruto’s trip to the coast over the weekend, he was hosted in Kilifi County, but the forum included 5 other counties, namely; Mombasa, Kwale, Lamu, Taita Taveta and Tana River.
During the forum, Coast leaders tabled an 18-wish list of demands that would form the basis of their engagement with the DP ahead of next year’s presidential elections.
The leaders identified investing in the special economic zones, the blue economy, mining, housing projects, value-additions, special economic zones, tourism, agriculture and job opportunities for the coastal residents at Mombasa port.
Former Mombasa Senator Hassan Omar said the Coast would support Ruto’s presidential ambitions on certain terms which he has promised to meet.
“We will cascade it down to villages. It will be a people’s plan. We are happy that the DP wants to become president on certain terms. In the last three days, we have come up with the plan for the Coast,” said Omar.
Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa, who was one of the speakers in the forum, said: “We want a partnership. We will partner with you and see whether you will meet all our demands and if you do so, we will be with you all the way.”
The DP said the region’s economic plan was not final.
“A lot of input must come from the people. The plan will be taken to the wards and villagers because it is about them and not us politicians,” Ruto said.
In attendance were: Benjamin Tayari (Kinango), Owen Baya (Kilifi North), Mohammed Ali (Nyali), Aisha Jumwa (Malindi), Faisel Baidel (Msambweni), Senators Anwar Loitiptip (Lamu) and former Senator Hassan Omar.