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Omar Hassan: This is why I want to be Mombasa governor

Mombasa Senator Hassan Omar Hassan has spelt out his plans for the county if residents elect him governor in August.

His administration, he said, will reduce rates for small traders especially at Kongowea open air market and increase taxes for high income earners.

Mr Hassan said the over taxation of Mombasa residents has impoverished them.

“The main problem at the moment is that citizens are not consulted on anything. The projects are imposed on them,” he said.

“We want a situation where before you start a water project for the people we need to ask them whether it is tap water they are interested in or a swimming pool,” he added.

PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT

He spoke at the Renaissance Centre where he launched the Citizen Manifesto Initiative.

The initiative is based on the tenets espoused in the constitution that recognise the importance of involving citizens in decision making, he said.

The Wiper secretary-general pledged to fully involve citizens before implementation of projects if elected as governor and that people would be selected to represent each sub county.

Dr Steve Ouma, a consultant, said that devolution came so that citizens can be involved in making decisions of the nation but it was not the case with Mombasa County.

“Citizens have to be in control of all the affairs of a country. This initiative seeks to introduce a citizen’s control of the nation,” he said.

“The era of being told that we are going to set up this and that project is over. We want citizens coming up with projects and taking them to their leaders for consideration,” he added.

POWER STRUGGLE

Another consultant, Dr Felix Odimasi said the responsibility of the leaders was to go back to the electorate and tell them what they will fulfil.

“Over the past four years there has been a power struggle which has affected delivery of development in the country,” he said.

The senator has been keeping the Mombasa county government on its toes over what he terms as poor service delivery and development.

The Hassan Joho administration, he added, was not inclusive.

Mr Hassan will battle it out with Mr Joho (ODM), Vibrant Democratic Movement hopeful Hezron Awiti and Jubilee Party’s Suleiman Shahbal in the August ballot.

RUNNING MATES

A bitter critic of Mr Joho’s leadership, Mr Hassan ruled out joint National Super Alliance (Nasa) primaries to produce one candidate to face Mr Shahbal to improve the outfit’s chances of retaining the seat.

He said the Coast region is a Nasa zone and that the fielding of candidates by various Nasa affiliates would not pave way for JP to penetrate the region.

Mr Awiti who was Wiper National Treasurer before defecting to Vibrant Democratic Party accused his former party leadership of favouring Mr Hassan.

Mr Awiti has settled on banker Hassan Bakari Mwamtoa as his running mate.

On Tuesday, Mr Shahbal resigned from the Gulf African Bank’s board to vie for the top seat. Mr Shahbal has since named former MP Ananiah Mwaboza as his running mate.

Mr Joho is yet to name his preferred deputy if he wins a second term following the decamping of his deputy Hazel Katana to Jubilee Party. Ms Katana is running for the Mombasa senatorial seat.

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