Wiper vows to beat Joho in August elections

Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho (centre) when he addressed his supporters in Changamwe on arrival from his US tour on Sunday. With him are Kisauni MP Rashid Bedzimba and Jomvu MP Badi Twalib (right). PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • Mombasa Senator Hassan Omar and Nyali MP Hezron Awiti laughed off Mr Joho’s sentiments that they were non-starters in the race for governor.
  • Mr Omar accused Mr Joho of trying to ride on ODM leader Raila Odinga’s popularity to hide his poor performance and get re-elected.
  • Separately, Mr Awiti scoffed at Mr Joho’s remarks that Wiper has no place in the county.

Rivalry between Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho and his opponents heightened on Monday, with the Wiper group vowing to deal him a devastating defeat in the August elections.

Mombasa Senator Hassan Omar and Nyali MP Hezron Awiti laughed off Mr Joho’s sentiments that they were non-starters in the race for governor.

In an interview with the Nation, Mr Omar accused Mr Joho of trying to ride on ODM leader Raila Odinga’s popularity to hide his poor performance and get re-elected.

The Wiper secretary-general insisted his party would field candidates for various seats in all the Coast counties and will not participate in the National Super Alliance’s (Nasa) joint nominations in the region.

“The aspirants who have moved to Wiper came because they want free and fair nominations and we will not let them down,” said Mr Omar who seeks to unseat Mr Joho.

His stand, he said, was supported by Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka and would not spoil chances for Nasa. “Jubilee Party will not make any headway as this is an Opposition zone,” Mr Omar said.

WIPER WON SEATS IN LAMU

The senator said contrary to Mr Joho’s assertion, the Coast is not an ODM zone as Wiper won seats in Lamu, Kilifi, Tana River and Taita-Taveta in 2013. He said it was only in Kwale where Governor Salim Mvurya, who has since defected to Jubilee Party, won with a huge margin.

“In Lamu, the governor is from UDF and senator Jubilee. Wiper won a number of seats in Lamu. In Tana River, the governor is from Wiper. In Mombasa, Mr Joho got 130,000 votes against Wiper candidate’s 94,000. Wiper candidates also performed well in other Coast counties,” Mr Omar said.

Separately, Mr Awiti scoffed at Mr Joho’s remarks that Wiper has no place in the county.

Mr Awiti, also an aspirant for the governorship, told Mr Joho to watch his language. “Tell him to wait and see. Let him wait for the shock of his life because he is going home. He should start packing his things to go home on August 8,” he said.

The MP said the governor’s remarks lacked respect for a coalition partner in Nasa and it was “unfortunate to have come from Mr Joho who is ODM deputy party leader”.

“Tell Governor Joho that Wiper is going to sweep the board. We will win the governor, senator, woman rep, MP and several of the MCA seats. We have prepared well and let him stop dreaming that he can win the governor’s seat,” he said.

Upon arrival in Mombasa from a two-week tour of the US on Sunday, Mr Joho declared that Mombasa was an ODM zone with Wiper candidates “having no chance whatsoever” at the gubernatorial slot.

Opposing Mr Omar and Mr Awiti’s move to rule out joint Nasa nominations, Mr Joho said the modalities were being worked on by a special team in Nasa and urged supporters to refuse to be swayed by opinions of individuals. He, however, said he was ready to face his rivals.

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