Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho and his Kilifi counterpart Amason Kingi on Sunday clashed over the 2022 elections flagbearer.
While Mr Joho insisted that he was the right candidate to represent the Coastal people, Mr Kingi said unity of the region was paramount.
Speaking during fundraising event in Mtomondoni, Kilifi County, Mr Kingi said it was premature for the region to say who would run for the presidency if it remained divided.
“There are things that we should address before saying who will be our presidential candidate. Our problem is unity, Coast should be united before we say who our flag bearer is,” said Mr Kingi.
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Mr Kingi’s remarks came after Governor Joho said that he will be on the ballot come 2022.
Mr Joho said he would beat Deputy President William Ruto come 2022.
“If they think that a Coast leader will not be in the ballot then they would be shocked,” Mr Joho said.
The leaders spoke after being asked to make it clear who will run for the presidency.
In 2017, Mr Joho and Mr Kingi had promised their supporters that they would engage each other to decide who would run for the presidency.
The leaders including senators and MPs endorsed Mr Joho for the top seat. On Sunday, Mr Kingi downplayed the calls saying the buck stops with the Coast voters.
“Talks between Joho and Kingi is an easier task, we need to be united,” said Mr Kingi.
Kilifi Senator Stewart Madzayo and his Mombasa and Kwale counterparts Mohammed Faki and Issa Boy also called for unity of the people.
Senator Faki said: “This is the time to give our own a chance. We need to build our unity before 2022.”
MPs Teddy Mwambire (Ganze), Ken Chonga (Kilifi South), William Kamoti (Rabai), Abdulswamad Nassir (Mvita), Omar Mwinyi (Changamwe) and Mombasa Woman Representative Aisha Hussein endorsed Mr Joho for the presidency.
The leaders said that the Orange Democratic Movement leader Raila Odinga had already hinted that Mr Joho was the right choice for the Coast people.
“We were with Baba (Mr Odinga) in Wajir and he has already shown us who will inherit his seat. We are only waiting a formal announcement,” Mr Mwinyi said.