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4 Coast governors say Saturday BBI forum exclusive regional affair, warn unallied leaders 

The new declaration made by Governors Hassan Joho (Mombasa), Amason Kingi (Kilifi), Granton Samboja (Taita Taveta) and Dhado Godana (Tana River) reignited fears of a possible humiliation of lawmakers allied to Deputy President William Ruto who announced on Tuesday they will be joining ongoing regional forums beginning with the Mombasa meeting at Tononoka grounds/FILE

MOMBASA, Kenya, Jan 23 – Four governors from the coast region have vowed to block any attempt to “spoil” a regional consultative meeting on the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report on Saturday, stating the meeting will be an exclusive forum for coast residents and its leaders.

The new declaration made by Governors Hassan Joho (Mombasa), Amason Kingi (Kilifi), Granton Samboja (Taita Taveta) and Dhado Godana (Tana River) reignited fears of a possible humiliation of lawmakers allied to Deputy President William Ruto who announced on Tuesday they will be joining ongoing regional forums beginning with the Mombasa meeting at Tononoka grounds.

“We will not allow any person to spoil our broth/soup. They are free to attend, but they must give us the respect we deserve. They should sit and watch how we do our things,” Kingi said in remarks translated from Kiswahili.

The four governors who mostly spoke in Swahili throughout the 20-minute news conference said they will take full charge of the platform for the benefit of coast residents to air out their issues.

Kingi said they will not allow any person to bring confusion during the rally.

He said the Tononoka rally will not be a Jubilee versus ODM rally or to show off political supremacy.

“Those who want to show us their political muscles, we want to tell them the Saturday event is not a contest for political supremacy. This is a meeting for the coastal people,” said Kingi.

In his remarks, Governor Samboja reinforced similar remarks saying they were not against any person attending the Mombasa meeting.

“It is obvious that everyone is free to attend this meeting, but if you come here with a different motive, we will not allow you,” said Samboja.

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Joho questioned the change of tune by Ruto-leaning legislators led by Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen, saying they did not “know what they’re coming to do in Mombasa.”

“We don’t know what they are coming to do. We are not able to see through their hearts,” said Joho at the forum during which Kwale Governor, Salim Mvurya, was conspicuously missing.

Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya was conspicuously missing/FILE – KWALE COUNTY

The sentiments came just few days after Ruto allies, who kept off the Nyanza and Western regional meetings citing an elaborate scheme to hijack the BBI process to advance former Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s 2022 presidential ambitions, announced they’d join other regional meetings going forward but insisted that public monies should not be used to organize the forums.

Led by Murkomen, at least 20 lawmakers announced that they would join the team led by Orange Democratic Movement leader Raila Odinga in Mombasa.

However, Kiingi said, “If you come here, you must understand that this is an opportunity for the coast people to talk their issues. Any person coming here with different agenda, they will not be allowed to bring confusion.”

The coast governors have arranged another meeting for some 3,000 delegates on Friday at Wild Waters to discuss BBI ahead of Saturday.

“On Friday, we will have the first meeting at Wild Waters. We will have 15 delegates from each ward of the coast. We expect at least 3,000 delegates from the coast,” said Kingi.

Other leaders during the press conference were Kwale Senator Issa Boy, Likoni MP Mishi Mboko and Mombasa Senator Mohammed Faki.

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