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How the revenue debate is uniting coastal leaders

The events surrounding the contentious revenue allocation formula may lead to the realisation of a political party for the coastals.

At the moment coast is leaning towards the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) but the region is  reading from s different script but in one voice.

Coastal leaders have strongly condemned party members who support the formula that will see thelose billions in revenue.

Kinango MP Benjamin Tayari yesterday alluded that coast politicians including governors are working with ODM rebellion bandwagon, as plots to form a political block that can spearhead the region’s politics ahead of 2022.

ODM demonstrated sheer betrayal to the coast by supporting the unfavourable revenue sharing formula during the Senate Special Sitting last week pushing the coastal leaders to threaten Raila with a ditch.

“Our people have given us a go ahead and we are in talks with some coastal governors who have shown interest in backing our exit from ODM in the next elections. We cannot disclose them for now,” said Tayari.

Senators from Raila’s Luo Nyanza backyard supported a disputed revenue sharing formula among the 47 counties albeit with amendments.

“We have tried to stay patient thinking that the ODM party has coastal people at heart but the recent vote in the Senate has sent indicators of betrayal.We have, therefore, decided as coastal leaders that we need our own political vehicle,” Tayari said.

In the middle of insurgence by President Uhuru Kenyatta’s and Raila Odinga’s confidants over the revenue sharing formula, the die is cast for the ODM party at the coast as a section of senators throw their weight behind a new coastal vehicle ahead of 2022.

Coastal legislators opposed to the controversial revenue bill. [p/courtesy]

Mombasa Senator Mohamed Faki who is politically close to Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho insisted that ODM lawmakers have a right to ship out of the political vehicle.

“We cannot justify the loss of Sh1 billion while our local economy has deteriorated as a result of Covid-19,” Faki said.

Adding that the region will reject the proposed plan, most of the ODM senators are opposed to the new formula,

Lamu senator Anwar Oloitiptip who was elected on a Jubilee Party ticket backed the plan for coast to forge a united front. He said the region is mature enough to have a common ground ahead of 2022.

“It is not fair to see coastal regions lose revenue through the new CRA formula”, Oiloitiptip said.

But Taita Taveta Senator Jones Mwaruma asked ODM party and its leadership to declare their stand with the region.

“If ODM fights for devolution, then they should stand with the Coastal region, we want to tell them to come out clear” he added.

Politician / Mombasa businessman Suleiman Shahbal who has his eyes set to succeed Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho, says the region is ready to have its own political vehicle to push their agenda.

On a different note, Likoni Mp Mishi Mboko who led a section of legislators allied to the ODM leader Raila Odinga said their stand with the orange party is unshakable.

Coastal counties are among the 18 regional governments that will lose up to Sh17 billion if the controversial formula is passed by the senate.

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