The race to succeed Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi has taken shape in what promises to be a thrilling but also messy duel pitting two MPs – Aisha Jumwa (Malindi) and Owen Baya (Kilifi North).
The two legislators, who are allied to Deputy President William Ruto and Mr Kingi, are already engaged in open campaigns despite the next elections being four years away.
The governor is said to favour Mr Baya while Ruto is for ‘Mama Rada’ Aisha Jumwa.
However, the showdown looms following displeasure by Jubilee Party-leaning politicians at the coast by suggestions that the Deputy President considers Ms Jumwa his point person in the region.
Many believe there are more established politicians like former MP Gideon Mung’aro and Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya, and even Kingi himself. But the rivalry between Jumwa and Baya has been playing out, with each going out of their way to win over the electorate by engaging in politics even outside their constituencies.
At a recent fundraiser presided over by Ruto, Jumwa took a swipe at Baya.
“Today I will not talk what I always talk… we are here to accomplish the dream of my brother’s (Baya) grandfather but I want to tell you that you have a hard task in 2022…,” Jumwa said.
Jumwa is on record saying how she brought Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang to be the chief guest at an education day who commissioned the construction of Kakuyuni Girls Secondary School.
She also bought a bus for Kakuyuni Boys Secondary School. Last month, Jumwa was the guest of honour at the launch of a local women’s group that brought together women from Malindi, Magarini, Rabai, Kilifi North, Kilifi South, Ganze and Kaloleni.
“I want to congratulate the women and I will give them my full support in everything they need. They have told me their challenges and I have promised that I will register the group as a limited company for them to trade with the county government,” said the MP.
“I have talked to Governor Kingi about my being here at the launch and he asked me come and listen to them and promised to support them to get tenders from the county.”
Baya has also initiated several development projects, including the construction of Kiwandani Boys Secondary School in Kilifi and buying a bus for Marafiki Secondary School.