Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leaders in Kilifi and Malindi Member of Parliament Aisha Jumwa have intensified their rivalry following the leaders’ push for Jumwa’s ouster.
At separate press conferences held in Malindi, Jumwa on the one hand and three Members of the Kilifi County Assembly (MCAs) from Malindi constituency, on the other hand, traded accusations, a sign that the war of words between them is not about to abate.
Speaking at her Kakuyuni home, Ms Jumwa launched a scathing attack on ODM leader Raila Odinga and Governors Amason Jeffa Kingi (Kilifi) and Hassan Ali Joho (Mombasa) for allegedly being behind her woes.
She said the three leaders were maligning her name, yet they had done very little to uplift the standards of living of the people they had been leading.
She particularly targeted Kingi, who she claimed was threatening security officers investigating the death of Mr. Michael Ngumbao Jola during the recent Ganda Ward by-election.
Jola was shot dead when Jumwa allegedly attempted to stop a meeting between ODM officials and agents at the home of then ODM candidate Reuben Mwamure Katana.
Katana won the by-election against three other candidates, including Jumwa’s preferred candidate Abdul Omar Mohamed, who vied as an independent candidate.
Ms. Jumwa alleged that Kingi was trying to influence the outcome of the investigations by threatening the investigating officers, including calling for the transfer of Malindi Sub County Police Commander Philip Wambugu and his deputy.
“Kingi should leave the police to carry out the investigations without undue pressure because all of us want to know the truth about the incident,” Jumwa, who was arrested in connection with the incident and later released without charges, said.
She claimed that Kingi was not a reliable leader and that the governor was only trying to ruin her reputation to cover the ills he had allegedly committed against the people of Kilifi County.
Her sentiments were however countered by the five MCAs, led by Kakuyuni County Ward Representative Nixon Charo Mramba, who claimed Jumwa was desperately seeking to cleanse her name by blaming her tribulations on the senior ODM leaders.
The MCAs called for speedy investigations in the circumstances that led to the death of Mr. Jola two days before the October 17 by-election, which they blamed on the combative legislator.
“I want to warn Jumwa to stop attacking our party leaders because we shall not take that lying down,” Mr. Mramba said.
He asked her to stop misusing the Mijikenda community, which he claimed the MP was using whenever she found herself in political turmoil.
“She claims to be fighting for the rights of the Mijikenda community yet her personal assistant is not a member of the Mijikenda community and she is also associated with leaders who do not belong to the community,” he charged.
Mr. Katana, a nephew to the slain Jola, urged the police to complete investigations and asked Jumwa to bear the consequences of her actions.
“Jumwa should not mislead the nation by blaming the ODM leadership when she knows she unlawfully stormed a peaceful meeting at my home and caused chaos that led to the death of my uncle,” he said.
Katana, who was sworn in last week as the MCA for Ganda Ward claimed that the MP had done nothing to improve the living standards of women and the youth except giving them handouts of Sh200 to carry out her errands.
Jilore Ward Representative Daniel Chiriba said Jumwa’s defeat during the Ganda Ward by-election was a sign that her political fortunes had started dwindling.
He claimed that despite accusing the governor of non-performance, the MP was a great beneficiary of tenders issued by the county administration.
Last week, ODM leaders, who included five MCAs and a former Member of Parliament, announced the commencement of a process to remove Jumwa out of Parliament through collecting signatures from registered voters in the constituency.