Inside Politics

Mombasa Governor front runners up vote hunt

Tuesday, January 25th, 2022 08:36 | By
Mombasa County governor Ali Hassan Joho. Photo/PD/file

The political battle for Mombasa County governor’s seat has gained momentum with four candidates hitting the ground running in their quest to succeed Hassan Joho.

The contest pits Mvita Member of Parliament (MP) Abdulswamad Nassir, businessman Suleiman Shabhal both of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), Hassan Omar of United Democratic Alliance (UDA) and Kisauni MP Ali Mbogo of Wiper Party as front-runners.

The four have activated their networks to ensure they win the contest. Nassir, an ODM diehard, will face Shahbal in the party nomination after the latter’s defection from the Jubilee party. Nassir has promised to defeat Shahbal at the nominations.

“We believe in democracy in ODM. That is why we have welcomed him and we are warning him not to decamp after a defeat during nomination,” said Nassir in reference to his competitor Shahbal.

Nassir has embarked on grassroots vote-hunt hoping to land the ticket. Shahbal has also activated Gumzo na Shahbal, a grassroot campaign under slogan ‘Change Must Come’ which he used in 2013 when he unsuccessfully contested against Joho.

“I was in ODM before jumping ship but it is clear that my return is giving people sleepless nights. I am in ODM to stay and will deliver the seat to Mombasa residents and Raila Odinga,”said Shahbal.

The political difference between the two has split ODM party and its elected leaders. Nassir has received support from Joho, Jomvu MP Badi Twalib, Mishi Mboko (Likoni) while Shahabal has been endorsed by a number of MCAs, Mijikenda Kaya elders and Changamwe MP Omar Mwinyi.

Mwinyi has poured cold water on Nassir’s ambition saying the two-time Mvita MP does not have what it takes to be the next Mombasa governor. Cautioned residents Mwinyi, who seemed to be unhappy with how Mombasa has been led for the past years, on Sunday cautioned residents against electing Nassir just because he makes contributions in the parliament.

“This is the mistake we don’t want to make in Mombasa, the fact that one makes parliament contributions does not mean he is fit to become the next Mombasa governor, let’s not make this mistake again,” said Mwinyi.

Although Mwinyi did not disclose his preferred candidate for Mombasa governor, he appears to throw his weight behind Shahbal. Mwinyi claims Nassir has oftenly given Coastal Parliamentary Forum meetings a wide berth and has chosen to ignore the ideas shared by the coastal parliamentary MPs in the group.

Former Senator Hassan, hopes to bank on his human right activism and Deputy President William Ruto’s support to clinch the seat. Sarai through his grassroot Bottom Up Economic Forum enjoys the backing of Nyali MP Mohamed Ali, and Joho’s cousin Mohamed Amir who is vying for the Senate seat office under UDA ticket.

“Things have changed, Mombasa is no longer an ODM zone, we will deliberate with our people on economic matters and we hope the Bottom Up approach will restore the glory of the port city of Mombasa and ensure justice and equal opportunities,” said Hassan.

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