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Jubilee settles on Shahbal to face off with Joho in poll

Mombasa businessman Suleiman Shahbal is the Jubilee candidate for the governor’s seat in Mombasa County, the party has announced.

Deputy President William Ruto told about 350 Jubilee aspirants from the Coast that after a series of consultations, an agreement had been reached to make Mr Shahbal the flag bearer.

This could end months of infighting between two rival groups, one allied to Mr Shahbal and the other led by former MP Ananiah Mwaboza whose members did not see eye to eye.

“After several meetings and consultations, we agreed that Mr Shahbal will be our party’s flag bearer…from now on, we will not have two Jubilee teams in Mombasa.

“Mwaboza’s team will be Shahbal’s team and Shahbal’s team will be Mwaboza’s. The two will work together for a common purpose to win the Mombasa governor seat,” he said.

Mr Ruto was speaking at Wildwaters Centre in Mombasa in a meeting also attended by Mr Shahbal and Mr Mwaboza.

Earlier, Mr Ruto had assured the aspirants that the party’s nominations will be free, fair and democratic but asked them “wherever possible” to have negotiated democracy.

“Wherever possible, discuss among yourselves as candidates and let the strongest go for the ballot box. This will save our party the complications of the nomination, anger and a possible fallout,” said Mr Ruto.

Insiders told the Nation Mr Mwaboza and Mr Shahbal have been having meetings with the DP since he arrived in Coast five days ago.

“The last meeting we had was last night and was quite emotional. Mr Mwaboza argued he has the numbers while Mr Shahbal has the financial muscle. It was a delicate balance,” said a source.

Other sources added that President Uhuru Kenyatta, who earlier tried to bring the two together, had left the job to his deputy.

Mr Shahbal said, “We now have one agenda; to take the governor’s seat from ODM and we are going to succeed”. Mr Mwaboza did not comment.

Jubilee will face off with ODM and Wiper whose candidates, Mombasa Senator Hassan Omar and Nyali MP Hezron Awiti, are yet to agree on who will fly the party’s flag.

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