Elders split over Mung’aro for top job

By: PHILIP MBAJI

Kilifi North MP Gideon Mung’aro’s announcement he will run for governor in 2017 has received mixed reactions.

On Saturday in Watamu, he said he will try to unseat Governor Amason Kingi. The former Malindi mayor was ousted from the minority chief whip’s position by Cord in July last year.

His announcement brought relief to friends and panic to some rivals. Some elders welcomed the move. Speaking to the Star on the phone, elders’ Vincent Mwachiro welcomed Kingi’s bid while Joseph Mwarandu was noncommittal.

Mwarandu, who is the Malindi District Cultural Association secretary general, said those seeking the governor’s seat should seek the elders’ blessings before campaigning.

On the other hand, Mwachiro, secretary to Mijikenda Kaya Elders Association, said he will back Mung’aro.

“It is good finally Mung’aro has come out publicly over the governorship race because he has kept people guessing,” Mwachiro said.

“That is the best thing Mung’aro could have done as it provides Kilifi people with an alternative leadership.”

However, Prof Gabriel Katana who contested the seat unsuccessfully in 2013, cautioned residents ahead of the polls.

The lecturer at Pwani University said veteran leaders are likely to “promote the status quo”

“Seasoned politicians might not deliver our county to the promised land. We need to have a leadership that is conscious and committed to transforming devolution to benefit Kilifi people,” Katana said.

Asked whether he will run in 2017, Katana said he will make his stand known, though he will support any leader who will bring change.

Mung’aro made his announcement at his rural home when 10 MCAs promised to back him.