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By BAYA SAMUEL
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A new political party has been formed in the Coast, bringing to five the number of political parties from the region.

Umoja Summit Political Party(USPP) received its provisional certificate last week and its founders are now seeking more members to meet threshold set by the Registrar of political parties. 

Speaking with the Nation, the party’s interim Secretary-General Naomi Cidi said their focus is on the 2022 General Election as they seek to field a presidential candidate.

“The party was formed on the basis of bringing back the elusive unity of the region. Coast has never spoken in one voice, a reason we formed this party to advocate an end to that,” said Ms Cidi.

Ms Cidi said they have planned a meeting set for next month when they shall unveil party representatives from 25 counties outside the Coast region.

“USPP is a national political party with its base at the Coast region. That means we shall have representative and offices in every party of the country,” she said.

The other interim officials of the new party are: Mr Matano Chengo (chairman) and Mr David Mwaringa (treasurer).

Ms Cidi criticised the other political parties in the Coast — Kadu Asili, Shirikisho, Devolution Party of Kenya and National Liberal Party —  for failing to unify the region. 

“We shall talk to all the Coast leaders, including Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho and his Kilifi counterpart Amason Kingi, and all the regional politicians to see if they can come on board,” she said.

But critics say the party may not survive the years before 2022 election. 

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Speaking to Nation, Ganze MP Teddy Mwambire welcomed the new party but warned it will not be easy to meet its objectives.

“My opinion is they shouldn’t field a presidential candidate but work in conjunction with established political parties like the Orange Democratic Movement Party (ODM),” said Mr Mwambire.

The Ganze MP is the ODM vice chairman in Kilifi County.

Kilifi North MP Owen Baya also welcomed USPP but warned officials to be wary of sabotage.

“In Kenya, political parties are registered every day. Even Jubilee is less than six years old. The oldest party we have is ODM. In Kenya, parties are only registered for election reasons,” said Mr Baya.

Mr Baya said the Coast needs a political vehicle to negotiate for power and economical resources.

Former Kaloleni MP Gunga Mwinga said the new party should work closely with other local platforms.

According to Hassan Mwakimako, a professor at Pwani University, USPP must come up with a different approach if it wants recognition in the political arena.

“Registering a new party is not the solution to address the issues at the Coast,” said Prof Mwakimako.

Political analyst Kazungu Katana said the party may not meet its target of uniting the Coast because region is fraught with deep divisions.

“They are talking about uniting the Coast people but have they been able to unite the Mijikenda sub tribes? We need to have that as the point of discussions,” said Mr Katana.



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