Chaos spoil celebration as politicking takes centre stage at Coast
Celebrations to mark International Women’s Day at the Tononoka grounds in Mombasa, turned chaotic after supporters of ODM governor seat aspirants Abdulswamad Nassir and Suleiman Shahbal clashed.
Deputy Governor William Kingi was attacked in the charged chaos, that saw police officers scamper for safety before security was reinforced shortly afterwards.
Hell broke loose when aspiring women leaders attending the event started making speeches in favour of governorship aspirants of their choice, sparking charged reaction from irate supports.
In the ensuing clash, groups of youth from rival camps, armed with pipes, clubs and stones, charged at each other indiscriminately, leaving several people injured.
The chaos lasted between the 10 am to2pm, only Nassir had arrived at the meeting. Shahbal, who was scheduled to attend, failed to show up, prompting his supporters to slowly walk out of the event.
The situation escalated when Kingi, who is also a governorship aspirant addressed the event and attempted to deny Nassir (area MP) a chance to address the charged crowd.
“This is not a campaign function, and therefore we ask Nassir to keep off the meeting,” Kingi told Nassir; a stand that was vehemently resisted by Nassir supporters.
Kingi’s address was cut short after the microphone was almost snatched by a man from the crowd.
When Nassir took to the podium, he slammed his opponent accusing him of having hired youth and women groups to instigate violence in Tononoka.
“Even if they hurl insults at us, even if they throw stones at us, we shall not respond to them, we must be peaceful,’’ said Nassir.
But Shahbal’s wife Rahma Shahbal emphasized on good and visionary leadership that is free from insults and intimidation.
She asked Mombasa electorate to be peaceful as the country nears the August polls.
“We have five months to elections, we should stop chaos, we need to show love to one another, we are expected to respect one another, as women we should be respectful, we discourage political chaos in the coming elections,’’ said Shahbal’s wife.