Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi has raised political eyebrows after a trend where he has been conspicuously missing from the Kenya Kwanza campaigns despite being the only principal from the Coast region.
Kingi, who would have otherwise been expected to welcome Deputy President William Ruto and curtain raise the rallies, was nowhere to be seen, in Ruto's recent tours to Mombasa and Kilifi counties.
During the rallies, there was no mention of apologies from the Pamoja African Alliance (PAA) leader or his team. In addition, PAA, candidates also staged a no-show in the rallies.
The trend started with Kingi being the only Kenya Kwanza principal who did not accompany Ruto to the Bomas of Kenya when he went to get clearance from IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati.
On Sunday, June 26, the Kilifi Governor did not send a representative when the DP visited his county with stopovers in Mtwapa and Kikambala.
Ruto was accompanied by ANC's Musalia Mudavadi, DP's Justin Muturi Ford Kenya's Moses Wetangula, and Maendeleo Chapchap party leader Alfred Mutua. Kingi's absence in the campaign saw Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa play a more central role in the tour.
On Saturday, Ruto visited Mombasa County with a rally at Tononoka Grounds. The Kilifi county boss missed the event that was marred by lateness which the media attributed to low crowd turnout.
Kenyans.co.ke established that the second-term governor's last public appearance was on June 17, where he shared PAA agenda with grassroots leaders in Chakama, Jilore and Kakuyuni.
To add to the speculation, the Governor shared a photo where he posed with a PAA campaign vehicle that had Azimio branding merchandise.
The trend raised eyebrows as most PAA candidates have not rebranded their campaign merchandise after the party dumped the Raila coalition and joined Kenya Kwanza.
The party's Kilifi gubernatorial candidate, George Kithi, has maintained billboards that had the iconic R logo that is used to market Azimio presidential candidate Raila Odinga.
Kingi and Mutua have been unable to officially leave Azimio as their parties had signed a contract binding them to remain in the coalition for the next six months. They have lost one lawsuit seeking to nullify the contract but have since appealed.
In his last public statement on June 20, the Kenya Kwanza principal affirmed that his party was a force to reckon with in the Coast region, adding that its candidates would battle it out for various top seats on the ballot.
"PAA has successfully carved a niche for itself in the Kenyan political landscape, and the August 9 General Election will provide ample proof that the indestructible hope of the Coast people for a party of their own has finally come to pass.
"In the formidable team of gubernatorial candidates PAA has lined up in the Coast counties, it is not in doubt which way the political chips will fall!" Kingi added.
Among those who will run for the top county jobs include George Kithi (Kilifi), Lung'aza Chai Mangale (Kwale), William Kingi (Mombasa) and Hassan Marowa (Tana River). A number of the candidates have continued to campaign with Azimio branded merchandise.
In the last tour, Kenya Kwanza gubernatorial candidates for Kilifi County Jumwa and Kithi clashed with their supporters were engaged in shouting battles in a rally at the Msabaha Grounds - a clear depiction of sibling rivalry in the political front.
The Malindi MP, who prides herself to be the stronger candidate to square it out with ODM's Gideon Mung'aro appealed to Ruto to offer Kithi a position in the national government to put their strife to an end.
While the presidential hopeful sat on the fence on the matter, calls by UDA candidates to have a six-piece vote in the region and others continue to threaten the unity of constituent parties.
At the time of publication, Kenyans.co.ke reached out to Kingi and his communication team for a response but our efforts were unsuccessful as their phones went unanswered.