Khatri poised to retain Mombasa Speakership unopposed

Friday, September 23rd, 2022 06:31 | By
Mombasa County Assembly. PHOTO/Courtesy
Mombasa County Assembly. PHOTO/Courtesy

Incumbent Mombasa speaker Aharub Khatri is today expected to retain the position unopposed for another term, after the contest was scaled down to a one-man show.

A notice by Mombasa County Assembly Clerk Salim Juma indicates that the contest which had initially attracted 10 contestants was finally truncated to one person on Wednesday evening, with the incumbent emerging as sole candidate.

The scaling down of the list of candidates from 10 to one rekindled debate about the integrity of the process amidst concerns of ‘a preferred candidate’ being favoured by the powers that be.

In an almost similar fashion, in 2017, Khatri, a businessman was installed as the County Assembly Speaker after 11 other candidates were allegedly blocked from submitting their papers to contest the same seat.

However, according to the Clerk, Khatri was the sole candidate to submit all the documentation as required by law.

The other nine contenders, Juma said, had failed to meet a raft of requirements in the selection criteria ahead of the deadline set for Wednesday.

“A number of those who had collected the nomination forms failed to make it to the final list since they did not attach a list of crucial documents like KRA Tax Compliance Certificate, proposers, IEBC clearance, among other documents, while returning the nomination papers,” the Clerk said.

According to Juma, others failed to return the nomination papers completely.

He further noted finalization of the process is scheduled at 10.00 am at the Mombasa County Assembly Buildings.

Contacted, Ali Mwalimu, a broadcast journalist who was among those who collected the nomination forms, said he decided to shelve his ambitions after he was advised that the race had entirely been decided.

“I tried to lobby but I was told that the contest had already been sealed and thereby I decided that there was no need. I am among those who didn’t return the nomination papers,” Mwalimu, an editor at a Mombasa-based radio station.

Immediate former Frere town MCA Charles Kitula who was being fronted by United Democratic Alliance (UDA) for the post stepped down in favor of Khatri after the incumbent approached him.

“I decided to support Aharub…I qualified to vie but the speaker approached me and convinced me. In terms of proposer and seconder, I had from UDA but looking at the numbers I realized that I had no chances since the opponent has the numbers who are the majority. On my side we only have six people,” Kitula told People Daily.

are claiming to be Felisters. The lawyers are directed to take their clients to ARA for identification by the DCI on a date they will agree on within two weeks from now,” Justice Maina ordered.

Maina directed the lawyers to surrender the two women to the investigators within 14 days so that the cash-freeze suit filed by ARA can be determined.

Justice Maina issued the order after a set of five lawyers from two different firms conflicted in court on representation and identity of the 21-year-old student, whose Sh102 million wired by her Belgian boyfriend was frozen by the court last year.

The DCI will have two weeks to finish the investigations, the judge said directing the parties to return to court on November 3 to confirm the outcome.

Justice Maina noted that the two set of lawyers had not complied with earlier an order which required them to surrender their respective clients to the DCI for confirmation of the real Felister Nyamathira.

One team led by lawyer Nyangoro told court that Felister was ready to have her finger prints taken by the DCI for investigations.

“She was in our chambers two weeks ago and we have liaised with an inspector (of police) for her finger prints to be taken. She was under fear but we got assurance for her and now is ready for the finger prints to be taken,” said Nyangoro.

The other team of lawyers led by Owaga said Felister was outside the country after delivering she a newborn baby.

“Our client is out of the country and has a child who has no passport. She is fearing for her personal security,” said Owaga.

The two women have instructed different lawyers to challenge the cash-freeze suit filed by the ARA last November.

ARA obtained an order freezing the accounts, pending conclusion of investigations into the source of the funds.

The woman had claimed that her boyfriend Marc De Mesel wired the money to her, indicating that she was free to use the funds to secure financial security for their children.

ARA wants the Sh102.5 million, which was deposited in the student’s bank account by the Belgian forfeited to the state on grounds that the source is not known.

The Belgian, who claims to be her boyfriend, and is believed to be a cryptocurrency specialist, had indicated in the bank declaration documents that Ms Njoroge, a student at Nairobi Technical Institute, was “free to use the money to secure financial security for our future children”.

The millions were deposited in her Co-operative Bank account in four transactions between August 4 and August 6, 2021, raising suspicion.

ARA suspects that the millions wired to Ms Njoroge’s account are proceeds of money laundering.

Documents filed in court showed that the Belgian wired $229,980 on August 4, followed by 231,980 the following day. On August 6, Mr Mesel wired the money twice, $224,980 and $227,980, alarming the state agency.

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