Omar dismisses push to quit Mombasa race to give Joho ‘breathing space’

It is now emerging that there has been a push within the National Super Alliance to have Mombasa Senator Hassan Omar (Wiper) quit the governorship race in favour of Governor Hassan Joho (ODM).

However, Mr Omar has categorically said he is in the race to the end and will be on the ballot come August 8.

Sources said Nasa Presidential candidate Raila Odinga had been asked to prevail upon Mr Omar to quit the race.

According to the source, this would give Governor Joho “breathing space” on the ground and, at the same time, give him time to campaign for Mr Odinga nationally.

It is not clear who requested Mr Odinga to talk to Senator Omar.

MEETING

Present during the talks held at the EnglishPoint Marina last Saturday morning were Mr Odinga, his running mate Kalonzo Musyoka, two politicians from Kwale County and Mr Joho.

Mr Omar is, however, said to have dismissed the suggestion, telling Mr Odinga that he would not step down.

The Senator has confirmed having attended a meeting at the Marina on Saturday but declined to divulge what transpired, only stressing that he was in the race for Mombasa governor.

“At the moment there is no turning back because we have already done a lot and gained ground. Whoever might even be thinking of such a thing should forget it,” he told Nation.

Although the Mombasa County Director of Communications Richard Chacha did not rule out such discussions, saying he was not privy to all conversations that took place between Mr Joho and the Nasa principals, he said the debate did not emanate from the governor’s office.

Read: Coast bigwigs ready for faceoff

NOT WORRIED

“For us, we are not worried about Omar and whether he runs or not, we are not threatened because the governor is going to retain his seat.

“We have slowed down our campaigns because of the Holy month of Ramadhan but after Idd celebrations we will hit the road and shake the entire county,” Mr Chacha said.

County ODM chairman Mohamed Hatimy said he was not aware of such talks.

last Friday Omar snubbed an Iftar dinner organised by Mr Joho at Serani Grounds in what sources said was a power tussle between the two politicians.

“Omar could not attend the function after it emerged that he was just going to be a participant with Mr Joho as the host. The initial plan was that they would both co-host the event but when the programme was changed at the last minute it became apparent that it was an ODM affair,” said a source close to Mr Omar.

During the Iftar, Mr Odinga and Mr Musyoka differed over the six-piece voting pattern with Mr Odinga propagating that people vote for ODM candidates from MCA to president while Mr Musyoka opposed it.

Besides Mr Omar, other candidates gunning for the Mombasa seat are Suleiman Shahbal of Jubilee and Hezron Awiti (Vibrant Democratic Party).

ICC politics awakened as Uhuru woos Nandi voters

Extra-judicial killings stalk police in new IMLU report