In Summary
  • Coming together of leaders could be the beginning of a formidable alliance.

  • Mr Balala said they agreed to form a tripartite partnership between the Ministry and the two county governments.

  • They plan to develop joint digital marketing strategies to promote the coastal areas and their attendant tourist attractions.

Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala hosted his former political nemeses, Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho and Kilifi’s Amason Kingi, at his NSSF Building office in Nairobi in what could herald a new dawn for the Coast region's fortunes politically and economically.

Mr Kingi and Mr Joho are also said to have separately met ODM leader Raila Odinga in Nairobi and agreed to promote the Building Bridges Initiative to unite the country. Mr Joho also rescheduled his planned meeting with ward representatives set for Friday in Mombasa to next week on Wednesday.

INFLUENCE

Mr Balala, Mr Joho and Mr Kingi are regarded as the Coast's top politicians with huge influence but they have not close due to pre-March 9 rivalry between Jubilee and ODM and their fight for the control of the region's political.

Long-serving CS Balala is the only from the coast and holds a key docket as the region's economic mainstay is tourism. The former Mvita MP is a Jubilee party honcho and top campaigner at the Coast. He parted ways with Mr Joho and Mr Kingi following the collapse of ODM Pentagon before 2013 polls.

CRITICS

The CS, who recently rubbed Kenyans the wrong way following his response on calls for him to resign over the death of rhinos that were moved from Nakuru to Tsavo National Park, formed his own party after leaving ODM and backed Jubilee’s election.

Mr Joho who is ODM deputy Party Leader and Mr Kingi, however, stuck with the Orange Party, propagating its ideals and becoming the government's harshest critics.

As a result, Mr Joho and Mr Kingi never saw eye-to-eye with Mr Balala nor attended meetings together including crucial ones involving tourism at the coast.

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