Kilifi Deputy Governor Kenneth Kamto on Saturday abandoned Governor Amason Kingi to join the Jubilee Party where he was immediately endorsed as the running mate of Jubilee gubernatorial candidate Gideon Mung’aro.
Mr Kamto defected during a public rally at Dr Krapf Ground in Rabai, Kilifi, which also witnessed the defection from ODM of two key members, Kisurutini ward MCA Anthony Kenga Mpe and Mr Ken Nyale who had been endorsed by ODM leader Raila Odinga recently as the party’s candidate for the senatorial seat.
The two leaders’ defection from ODM is a big blow to the party that has dominated the Kilifi politics for a long time.
Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya received the leaders to the party having himself defected from ODM to Jubilee, the party he will use to defend his seat.
Mr Mung’aro, his Kilifi South counterpart Mustapha Iddi and Jubilee Party national chairman Nelson Dzuya said the defection was an indication that the region was no longer an ODM zone and that the wave was changing fast.
Mr Kamto becomes the second deputy governor from the Orange party to abandon their boss and party after Mombasa Deputy Governor Hazel Katana recently joined Jubilee on whose ticket she will run for the Mombasa woman representative.
“I saw this coming and I decided to leave the party early. The problem with ODM is that some leaders in the region want to control others through remote control. I said I cannot accept this and moved to Jubilee which has proved capable of bringing development to our people,” said Mr Mvurya.
He accused the National Super Alliance (Nasa) leaders Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka of “perpetually lying to the coast people”.
“Mr Odinga was Prime Minister in a nusu mkate (shared) government but did not help anybody in coast. Mr Musyoka was even Vice-President and also did not assist us. What else can they give us apart from lies?” he asked. Mr Mung’aro accused the Kilifi county government of having initiated no development projects despite receiving the lion’s share of devolved funds.
“Kilifi county receives Sh9.6 billion but where is the impact of this huge amount? Kwale county receives less than that but Governor Mvurya has initiated major developments. Here in Kilifi, only rampant theft is the trademark,” he said.
He said the wave in the coast had changed from ODM to Jubilee and vowed that by August 8 during the polls, “our opponents will have nowhere to go”.
“Coast people are tired of empty rhetoric, empty promises, and empty talk. We want development which has been seen in Jubilee. Look at the mega infrastructure projects, look at the numerous appointments, look at the electrification of homes and business, look and education, health and other areas. Everything is changing to improve the livelihoods of all of us,” said the Kilifi North MP.
Mr Iddi said the defection was an indication that ODM and opposition is dying in the area and that residents had decided to move out after realising there was nothing in the opposition.
Present also were nominated Senator Mvita Kisasa who announced she will vie for the senator’s seat on Jubilee Party, Ganze MP Peter Shehe and his Magarini counterpart Harry Kombe.
The well attended rally was a contest among supporters of various candidates for Members of County Assembly, Members of Parliament and senators.