Mombasa Senator Hassan Omar, who is now seeking the county’s governorship on a Wiper party ticket, has criticised ODM’s call for a six-piece voting pattern in the August elections.
Mr Omar dismissed the call by ODM leader Raila Odinga and his deputy, Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho for voters to only elect ODM candidates.
In a telephone interview, Mr Omar said that the call was a result of ODM having weak candidates in the county.
“The call for voting six-piece ODM candidates in Mombasa is not justified. It is wrong for leaders to herd people into party slogans to get sympathy,” he said.
He termed the call as “a tactical push” for ODM to get something to fall back to after it allegedly became clear that its candidates “are so weak”.
“It is a scheme to get voters’ sympathy, otherwise they will not win a single seat in Mombasa. It’s not business as usual. It’s not 2013,” said the senator.
Mr Omar, who snubbed an iftar dinner hosted by Governor Joho at Serani grounds on Friday, said those making the call are ignorant of the fact that politics in the area is changing fast.
“Making such a call shows that the ODM leaders think that the area is still 100 per cent ODM like it was in 2013. But politics is dynamic. A lot has changed and the party no longer has the same euphoria. In fact, if anything, all its candidates will lose terribly and the call is to colour the party and seek people’s sympathy,” he said.
He claimed that the alleged popularity of Governor Joho is a mirage given that his administration has failed to deliver to residents.
“It is so evident that the Governor no longer enjoys any form of support. The clearest indicator is that all the members of county assembly loyal to him were all routed out in the party primaries. Now, how can the voters kick his MCAs out and [be expected] to vote for him? It’s not practical,” he said.
He said that the county assembly had been used as a rubber stamp and misused to perpetuate ills such as misuse of funds and to pass “ridiculous” motions.
“The governor has no development track record of any kind and he should have learnt that the people will vote him out early in the morning on August 8. How can the people vote the soldiers out and not kick out the general? The MCAs being voted out was just a curtain raiser on what will happen on August 8,” said the senator.
During the Serani iftar which Nasa principals Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka and Musalia Mudavadi, together with several MPs attended, the Wiper leader complained that ODM was unfairly campaigning for only its candidates in Mombasa through the six-piece call.
“If you say that voters should elect only ODM candidates in a six-piece formula, then what do you leave us with? Are we not a coalition?” asked Mr Musyoka.
But Mr Odinga played down the concerns saying each party in the coalition is free to campaign for its candidates.
“It is right for Raila to say ODM, ODM, ODM and I know Mr Kalonzo will say Wiper, Wiper, Wiper, Mr Wetangula will say Ford Kenya, Ford Kenya, Ford Kenya while Mr Mudavadi will say Amani, Amani, Amani and our brother Isaac Ruto will say Mashinani, Mashinani, Mashinani. It’s all fine but we know we are one team fighting a common enemy who is Jubilee whom we shall remove on August 8,” said Mr Odinga.