Coast Region Plots to Form New Party

Coast politicians plan to form Chama Cha Wapwani as their negotiating platform for 2017.

Past attempts to unify the Coast have failed mainly due to divisions caused by party politics and mistrust among leaders.

The parties formed in the region over the years include the Shirikisho Party of Kenya, the Islamic Party of Kenya, the National Labour Party, Mwangaza, Uzalendo, Kadu-Asili, the Republic Congress and the Federal Party.

None gained regional popularity and they all faded away.

This time, leaders say the Party of the Coast will ensure their bargaining power to determine the region’s future, with Senator Dan Mwazo likely to head the team.

Kwale women’s representative Zainab Chidzuga said that it will not be business as usual in 2017.

She said there will be a vigorous recruitment exercise in all six counties of the region for the Chama za Wapwani.

“We don’t want to sail in anyone’s vessel come 2017. Chama Cha Wapwani will be our vehicle in 2017. If either Uhuru or Raila wants to win the elections in 2017, they are the ones to come to us seeking our support. We will have no time to beg anyone but demand what we want because we have the numbers,” said Chidzuga.

Mwazo said, “I fully support a political party for the Coast region. I am ready to vie for the Presidential seat in the party.

He spoke on Saturday, at the funeral of Mwatate MP Andrew Mwadime’s mother, Mama Dianah Katuu, in Chawia location, Mwatate subcounty.

The legislators say Coast MPs need to speak in one voice so that the ruling coalition can seek their support after the 2017 election.

Chidzuga urged the coastal electorate to shun overtures from leaders who divide the region.

“Don’t vote in people who are not willing to work with others. We want action-driven leaders who will push the agenda of the Coast’s people,” she said.

Chidzuga urged Cord leader Raila Odinga to allow the region to form its own political party.

The region is dubbed an ODM zone.

“When Obama came, Uhuru took his people to meet Obama. Raila also took Kalonzo Musyoka, Martha Karua and Moses Wetang’ula. We did not see a leader from the Coast region in their lineups. No one will speak for us. It’s now our time to flex our political muscle and this can only happen when we speak in one voice,” she said.

The leaders also launched a campaign to increase the region’s vote bloc in the long term by encouraging locals to shun family planning.

“I have eight children and I still look young. Let’s ignore the family planning campaign. We need a large population so that, in future, we can support one of our own for the presidential seat,” she declared.