Last Saturday, Kingi who has deteriorated from a gallant ODM soldier to Deputy President William Ruto’s errand boy, assembled 21 Coast legislators most who are allied to Ruto.
It has since emerged that Kingi was coerced by his new master through the pro- Tangatanga MPs to reprimand ODM as a precondition to attending that meeting.
Significantly, a penive Kingi after the meeting read a statement warning ODM not to punish pro-Ruto MPs Suleiman Dori of Msambweni and Aisha Jumwa of Malindi.
A source intimated that even though he now dances to the tunes of the hustler’s pipette, Kingi still feels indebted to Raila Odinga.
“Kingi only wants to make his own independent decisions without command from anywhere” the source claimed.
In an interesting twist, Kingi’s condition for supporting the handshake is that President Uhuru implements the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) report, a line that has, curiously been adopted by Ruto’s ally Aden Duale.
And his rival for the Coast voting block kingship Mombasa Governor Sultan Hassan Joho is not sitting pretty, he has planned a mega meeting for Wednesday.
Joho’s called off an earlier meeting scheduled for Friday to enable MCAs from Tana River and Lamu to attend, but some in Kingi’s camp claim they had not been invited to Friday’s meeting.
ODM party leader Raila Odinga intervened in the ongoing rivalry at the Coast when he hosted the two governors in Nairobi last week.
While Kingi has Ruto, Joho on the other hand appears to have drawn close to Uhuru and some powerful luminaries like Senator Gideon Moi and even Tourism CS Najib Balala, a further indication that the two governors, erstwhile allies who have both declared interest in the presidency in 2022, are now seeing the future in different lenses as they embark on their last terms.
Joho has no time for Ruto whom he slammed last month for “poaching” ODM MPs from Coast with a warning that “do not think you are so smart. We will work with your rivals.”
Analysts believe the problem between the two appears to be based on ego and a desire by both to create enough clout for their political future. On one hand, it is believed to be a struggle between ethnic Miji Kenda against Mombasa based tycoons/non Miji Kenda, although both deny playing the tribe and race cards.
The so called Mombasa tycoons always do not act in unison and often fight one another. Although Joho is largely acceptable in urban Coast, Kingi faces a daunting task to extend his influence beyond his rural, and largely, a socio-cultural homogeneous Kilifi base.
Kingi is yet to entrench there despite his growing ties with Dori and other pro-Ruto MPs. Analysts are, however, divided over the influence of the ODM rebels now under Kingi’s command but agree that it is a show of Kingi’s growing intentions and appetite to break out of Kilifi and seek acceptability across Coast.
“It is clear that Kingi appears to believe that Kilifi is under him and now he is stretching out to Kwale and other areas of Coast,” said Mwakimako. Joho is fiercely opposed by many Mombasa based tycoons keen to clip his business and political empires but, comparatively, has an edge over Kingi on the national stage due to his wide appeal in opposition areas across Kenya.