National Super Alliance co-principals to return to coast

National Super Alliance co-principals will return to the coast on Thursday, a week after Jubilee Party presidential candidate Uhuru Kenyatta and his running mate William Ruto were in the region to launch the new railway.

The Sh312 billion railway is seen as Jubilee Party’s signature campaign project ahead of the August polls.

The key opposition figures are to start their campaign in Tana River before moving to Lamu, Kilifi, Taita Taveta, Mombasa and Kwale as the battle for the region’s 1.7 million votes heightens.

The Coast has provided a seemingly endless battle between Jubilee and the Opposition since last year’s Malindi by-election that saw the ruling coalition marshal huge resources to campaign for its candidate, who lost.

Vision 2030 projects such as the Lamu Port South Sudan Ethiopia Transport corridor, ports, the economy, rising cost of living, unemployment and mineral resources have emerged as major campaign issues in the fight for the control of the region’s votes.

President Kenyatta and Mr Ruto say they have issued thousands of title deeds to locals and that Nasa leaders did nothing to address land problems at the Coast when they were in government.

But Nasa, led by its presidential flagbearer Raila Odinga, say locals want to own land owned by absentee landlords.

While Jubilee has the support of ODM defectors led by Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya, MPs Gideon Mung’aro, Mustafa Iddi and Senator Dan Mwazo, the opposition has Governors Ali Joho (Mombasa), Amason Kingi (Kilifi), Senator Hassan Omar, Mr Chirau Mwakwere and ODM chief whip Thomas Mwadeghu.

While Jubilee leaders say tourism at the Coast is picking up, Nasa says it is dying due to insecurity, with a number of hotels closing down.

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