NASA leader Raila Odinga has been enjoying fanatical following in the Coast region, especially Mombasa, for over one decade now.
However, the opposition leader will have to give a spirited effort to forestall any fallout amid dissent from the region’s lawmakers over claims of being sidelined in the ODM party and NASA coalition leadership in the two houses of Parliament.
Raila’s dalliance with the region dates back to 2005 when he successfully led the NO campaign to the proposed constitution where the then Mvita MP Najib Balala was his point man in Mombasa.
In 2007, Raila made his second stab at the Presidency and Balala, then a key member of the Pentagon, was his main man in the region.
His party would go on to win all parliamentary seats in Mombasa with Raila overwhelmingly voted for against his closest challenger former-ally-turned-foe, President Mwai Kibaki.
After severing ties with Balala in the run to the 2013 election, the then Kisauni MP Hassan Joho emerged and was Raila’s key cog in Mombasa as he kept his burning ambitions to State House alive.
Just like in 2007, Raila garnered over 70 percent of the votes in Mombasa with all but one MP in the county coming from ODM.
He, however, lost the presidential election to Jubilee’s Uhuru Kenyatta.
Ahead of the 2017 poll, Raila reorganised his campaign team with Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho, a true disciple of the former Premier, taking a leading role in his campaign team.
Joho did not disappoint as Raila edged out Uhuru once again in Mombasa.
However, three months down the line, the MPs from the region, have raised concerns, alleging that they have been sidelined by the party and coalition in key Parliamentary positions.
The lawmakers from Mombasa led by Likoni MP Mishi Mboko have protested the decision to appoint MPs John Mbadi and Junet Mohamed, all from Raila’s Luo Nyanza political turf, to lead key positions in Parliament.
The Coast MPs have said they will ‘resist’ the coalition’s move not to reward them with key positions.
Should the MPs make good their threat to move out of NASA, then Raila’s fate in the region will be as good as sealed.