Kaya elders from the Mijikenda community have endorsed Kilifi deputy governor Gideon Saburi to succeed governor Amason Kingi in 2022.
Saburi was endorsed by elders from all the nine Kayas in an elaborate function held at Kaya Ribe in Rabai sub-county.
The function was the first of nine Kaya led functions that will take place in all the Kayas and culminate on a special peace prayer on 25th at Karisa Maitha grounds in Kilifi county.
Saburi is expected to grace all the events.
Mijikenda Kaya elders association coordinator Tsuma Nzai said they settled on Saburi because his zeal to change Kilifi and restore respect to the county is felt across the region with the reflection of making kilifi a better county economically.
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Nzai said it was time for minority communities in the Mijikenda to lead the county.
“I am from the Giriama sub-tribe of the Mijikenda and because we have held the governor position for ten years we have decided that it is time for other sub tribes to take the mantle. Saburi is the deputy governor and he is from the Rabai sub-tribe. He has the experience and we are going to elect him as Kilifi governor in 2022. We do not want Giriama dominance yet we have seven of the nine Mijikenda subgroups in Kilifi county,” said Tsuma
Mijikenda Kaya elders Association chairman Mwinyi Mwalimu Mgwisho said Saburi has served diligently under Amason Kingi.
“Saburi has been put under turmoil when Coronavirus hit us. He still maintained his cool until he won the case. He is a unifying factor in the Mijikenda community. These are the leaders we want,” said Mgwisho
Mgwisho called for unity among leaders in the region.
He promised to bring onboard Mombasa governor and Kwale governor on board Kaya activities.
“I know leaders in Mombasa county do not want to associate themselves with Kaya elders but as the chairman, I will make sure we involve them,” he added
Kaya elders patron Julius Saha said this time the Rabai community will not take the deputy governor Position in Kilifi but the governor position.
“We have been supporting the Giriama twice and this is our time. They should support us. We have trust in Saburi and we expect everyone to support him,” said Saha
Saburi welcomed the endorsement and pledged to work with the elders to realize the dream.
He said he is in the race to win the race.
He called for the vetting of all aspirants for the gubernatorial seat.
“I am also ready to face you in the vetting. Though you have endorsed me you should vet me just like any other candidate for the seat,” he said
From the advent of the counties, there has been an unwritten rule where Rabai takes the deputy governor seat, Chonyi the senatorial position while the Giriama take the Governor seat.
“We should do away with this negotiated democracy. We want other sub-tribes to feel how it is to be the governor,” he added
In Kilifi county, the Giriama are the majority, followed by Chonyi, Rabai, Kauma, Jibana, Kambe and lastly Ribe.
Digo and Duruma are found in Kwale county.