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11 Coast MPs defend ODM rebels Aisha Jumwa and Suleiman Dori

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By CHARLES LWANGA
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A section of Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) legislators from Coast have declared war on their party following what they term as intimidation of Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa and her Msambweni counterpart Suleiman Dori.

This comes barely weeks after the ODM’s disciplinary committee recommended the expulsion of Ms Jumwa, Mr Dori, and seven ward representatives — six from Homa Bay and one from Busia — from the party on grounds of misconduct.

The MPs told the party to stop intimidating Ms Jumwa and Mr Dori and instead go after every ODM politician supporting Deputy President (DP) William Ruto.

Speaking during the official handing over of tittle deeds for Magarini residents and a fundraiser at Gongoni that was attended by DP Ruto, the 11 lawmakers said their support for Mr Ruto’s 2022 presidential ambition is unstoppable.

They queried why the ODM party was keen on frustrating Ms Jumwa linking the so-called harassment to her gender.

Kilifi North MP Owen Baya, a critic of the Jubilee administration, said the region voted for the ODM party leader Raila Odinga in the 2002 to 2017 elections and owe him nothing.

“This time Coast will speak [with] one voice. We are tired of being intimidated because [we’re] seeking development,” he said.

Mr Baya warned those ‘fighting’ Ms Jumwa and Mr Dori that Coast leaders will shield them from criticism, saying the duo have a right to express themselves and support any one after the handshake between Mr Odinga and President Uhuru Kenyatta.

“Let them first deal with us for supporting development brought by the DP before they go after Ms Jumwa,’’ he said.

Kaloleni MP Paul Katana said if Mr Odinga shook hands with the President, then his ODM MPs will also make peace with Mr Ruto.

“Jumwa will continue to be with Ruto for the sake of development. Why doesn’t Raila bring the handshake to Coast?’’ he asked.

Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya said Coast has been subjected to intimidation for many years.

“We have joined the Deputy President for development purposes. As a region we need to dedicate ourselves to development,” he said, adding “Ruto deserves a promotion to become the president because his achievements as a deputy.”

Magarini MP Michael Kingi, who hosted the event, said Mr Ruto has good intentions for the region and brings development to the people.

Ms Jumwa and Mr Dori have been accused of party disloyalty after they declared their support for Mr Ruto’s 2022 State House bid.

They will plead their case before the party National Executive Council next year.

The duo have said they will not be intimidated, vowing to continue supporting Mr Ruto presidential aspirations.

But Mr Ruto steered clear of the political talk, pointing out that politics ended after the 2017 General Election.

“We should now dedicate ourselves to serve residents to improve the economy and achieve the Big Four development agenda,” Mr Ruto said.

The other MPs present were: Mr Benjamin Tayari (Kinango), Mr Danson Mwashako (Wundanyi), Mr Badi Twalib (Jomvu), Ms Gertrude Mbeyu (Kilifi Woman Rep), Ms Christine Zawadi (nominated Senator) and Mr Shariff Athman (Lamu East).

Nairobi’ Starehe MP Charles Njagua and former Magarini MP Harrison Kombe and a section of MCAs from Kilifi County were also present.

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