Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho PHOTO:COURTESY
Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho has strongly disputed President Uhuru Kenyatta’s assertion that his county received Sh40 billion from the national government since 2013.
Instead, Joho put the amount received by his government at Sh17 billion, and demanded to know where the Sh23 billion balance of the alleged Sh40 billion was.
This was on the same day that the governor declared that his life was in danger, even as Jubilee leaders criticised him for being disrespectful towards the presidency.
First, Joho said the President was threatening his life and called for a ‘global interrogation’ of Uhuru’s recent utterances.
Then he wrote to Treasury seeking clarification on the Sh40 billion the President said had been allocated to Mombasa County in the last four financial years. Joho maintains the county only received Sh17 billion.
According to the governor’s tabulation his administration received Sh4.2 billion in 2013/2014 fiscal year, Sh4.6 billion in 2014/2015, Sh5.2 billion in 2015/2016 and Sh6.7 billion this financial year. He wants the Government to disburse the Sh23 billion balance.
Jubilee Party leaders in Mombasa defended Uhuru, while Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi and his Taita Taveta counterpart John Mruttu questioned the President’s conduct.
Kingi said Uhuru’s threat was a warning to governors he has differed with and other critics.
When launching the ferry at Mtongwe on Monday, Uhuru accused Joho of following him wherever he goes and attacking him to appear like a hero.
“They should stop following me. I am not his wife. He should come here and explain what he has done for this country,” Uhuru said. “Joho should not play with us, if he plays with us we will teach him a lesson.”
Joho said the President’s warning was chilling and “a direct threat to me” which was growing concern over his safety.
The governor argued that Uhuru’s warning cannot be taken lightly, coming from an African head of State.
“The President said he will deal with me. This means anything can happen to me. It is a direct threat and it is not easy to handle a direct threat from a head of state,” said Joho.
The governor said although he is concerned by the President’s utterance, he will neither change his routine nor stop speaking his mind.
Jubilee Party gubernatorial aspirant Suleiman Shahbal and his presumptive running mate Ananiah Mwaboza accused Joho of disrespecting the President, through constant criticism.
Joho has, however, demanded proof of the alleged disrespect claiming he had only stood for the truth and rights of those who elected him and not insulted the President.
Shahbal claimed the Joho administration withdrew traffic marshalls from the streets to disrupt his entourage and accused the governor of engaging Uhuru in a supremacy contest to shift focus from accountability questions hanging over his administration since 2013.
On Monday, armed police and presidential guards were deployed to major intersections to search vehicles causing a major traffic jam. The officers stopped Joho from driving to his office and barricaded his home in Nyali.
Police later drove Joho to his office and surrounded it ensuring the governor did not cross the Likoni channel to attend the President’s function.
But yesterday Shahbal claimed Joho staged the chaos to humiliate Uhuru, but also added that he had intelligence that ODM had hatched a scheme to disrupt Uhuru’s tour.
“The disruption of traffic flow also inconvenienced thousands of residents of Mombasa,” Shahbal said.
Shahbal said that the presidency is a national symbol and accused Joho of displaying “antics” that are “totally unacceptable.”
“We shall not allow the governor to continue converting national government functions into political supremacy battles. That has to end now,” said Shahbal, who warned that “if he continues we will sort him out.”
Kingi urged religious leaders to intervene.
Taita Taveta Governor John Mruttu said he will “reconsider” his engagement with Uhuru, accusing Jubilee of harassing the Opposition during Saturday’s presidential visit in Voi where ODM Senator Dan Mwazo defected to Jubilee Party. Mwazo will contest Mruttu’s seat.
“I was invited to accompany the President while on tour of the region but was not even given a chance to greet people. I will reconsider my future engagement with the President,” warned Mruttu, who paraded Opposition activists he said were detained by police prior to Uhuru’s tour.
“The President should not express his anger in public no matter the circumstances. His utterances are drawing Kenyans away from him,” said Kingi.
He said the head of State has shunned the guidelines on protocol and relationship between the national and county governments.