Rivals pile up pressure to remove Joho’s team

Mombasa Governor Hassan Ali Joho

Mombasa Governor Hassan Ali Joho has taken leave from the NASA presidential campaign to concentrate on his re-election bid as his main challengers turn up the heat on his development record.

Suleiman Shahbal of Jubilee and Senator Hassan Omar of the Wiper Democratic Movement have intensified house to house campaigns targeting Majengo, Mvita, Kisauni, and Nyali, all perceived to be Joho bastions.

Shahbal has stepped up the hunt for the Muslim vote, meeting migrant communities, Miji Kenda elders, and youth groups to advance his agenda.

In 2013 Shahbal, then on a Wiper ticket, lost the Mombasa gubernatorial race to Joho but has maintained that the election was stolen.

He defected to TNA and later Jubilee and has vowed to turn the tables on his rival, whom he accuses of failing to develop the county.

 Essential services

ALSO READ:

Internal competition threatens Raila vote

ALSO READ:

Internal competition threatens Raila vote

Shahbal claims that the Joho administration has tarnished the investment climate in Mombasa and frustrated the business community by intruducing high taxes and non-collection of garbage.

On Tuesday Joho toured Mkomani in Nyali after launching roads in Likoni, where he dismissed critics questioning his development record.

“During my first term in office, the county government of Mombasa has constructed 58 kilometres of cabro-standard roads,” said Joho after he commissioned the Msikiti Noor-Mtaa wa Makaa Road.

Joho also toured Nyali and commissioned the construction of the Mtopanga Gas Field-Kwa Bulo road and declared that his administration was keen to improve accessibility to markets and essential services.

But Shahbal and Omar dismissed Joho’s efforts, terming them as too little too late. They urged Mombasa residents to vote him out on August 8.

Last week, Joho declared that he would concentrate on campaigning for NASA presidential candidate Raila Odinga and that MPs Abdulswamad Nassir (Mvita), Rashid Bedzimba (Kisauni), and Badi Twalib of Jomvu would lead his campaign in Mombasa. However, the legislators are also facing stiff competition from Wiper and Jubilee challengers.

Wednesday Joho’s office said the governor would go for Umra (pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia) and that he would suspend his campaign, but declined to comment on claims that the he had suspended participation in Raila’s presidential entourage.

ALSO READ:

Kenyans blamed for choosing bad leaders

Wednesday Shahbal intensified his campaign as he traversed Mvita’s Majengo area after introducing 300 youths at Sakina Hall whom he said would lead his house-to-house crusade in the sub-county.

Under what he has christened the ‘youth revolution’, Shahbal alleged that the governor had failed to account for billions of shilling the county has received from the national government since 2013.

On Monday evening Shahbal met 250 youths from the Somali community at Kumber Hall in Mvita and asked them to support him, saying: “Power will not be given. We must kick out the Sultan.”

ICT hubs

Shahbal said that if elected he would empower members of the county assembly (MCAs) to discharge their duties effectively, claiming that in the past four years, the assembly was Joho’s rubber stamp.

He said every ward would be allocated Sh4 million every financial year to implement youth programmes such as the construction of ICT centres.

“We hope to have ICT hubs in all the wards so that our youths can become ICT- compliant,’’ Shahbal said.

He promised that MCAs under his government would be in charge of a youth fund and a special kitty for persons living with disabilities.

Self-reliant

“We want to empower our youths to be self-reliant. We believe the youth can make a great difference in the way issues are dealt with in our county.”

Shahbal said his government would emphasise tapping talent at an early age and boosting sporting activities from the ward to the county levels.

He said MCAs would also be in charge of women’s affairs.

Shahbal was accompanied by his running mate, Ananiah Mwaboza, Mvita Jubilee parliamentary aspirant Omar Shallo, and Majengo/ Mwembe Tayari ward aspirant Said Mathias.

NASA is scheming to have polls postponed to December, says Uhuru

Court gives Raila Odinga 14 days to file submissions in Ann Waiguru defamation case