Do not blame Joho for my loss in Masambweni poll, says Boga

ODM politician Omar Boga

Omar Boga, ODM's candidate for the Msambweni by-election. 

Photo credit: Jeff Angote | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Mr Boga said Governor Joho influenced the mini-poll positively and in his favour.
  • He said Joho did a good job by mobilising resources that sustained his campaigns.

Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) candidate for the recently concluded Msambweni parliamentary by-elections Omar Boga has dismissed claims that Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho contributed to his failure to win the seat.

Mr Boga said Governor Joho influenced the mini-poll positively and in his favour.

Mr Joho had a spat with his Kwale counterpart, Salim Mvurya, during the campaign period.

Mr Joho, who is also the ODM deputy party leader, was the chief campaigner and had bragged that the party would secure the seat that was left vacant following the death of Mr Suleiman Dori of ODM.

However, Mr Boga said Joho did not cause his failure. His main challenger, independent candidate Feisal Bader, won the the by-election with 15,251 votes against Boga's 10,444 votes.

He said Joho did a good job by mobilising resources that sustained his campaigns.

"When you lose, there are all manner of reasons and these are just perceptions. In the 2017 General Election, I had no resources, but this time Governor Joho and the party did their best to ensure I won the seat," he said.

Conceded defeat

Mr Boga added that they conducted several opinion polls prior to the election day and Mr Joho was way ahead with 48 per cent against Mvurya's 11 per cent as a person who would influence the by-election.

Mr Boga has since conceded defeat and pledged to work with Mr Bader for the sake of Msambweni residents.

  Mr Bader was sworn in on Tuesday to serve the remainder of the current term of parliament.

As the dust settles, Mr Boga said they were analysing the by-election and would come up with a comprehensive report on what went wrong.

He revealed that he went for the by-election confident he would emerge victorious.

"We had all the indications that we were going to win the by-election. We conducted several opinion polls prior to the election and I was leading all the way," he said, adding that a day before the elections, they interviewed at least 300 people in every polling station and 80 per cent responded positively.

Voter bribery

However Mr Boga said the election was marred with voter bribery.

He said his opponents openly bribed voters on the election day and mostly concentrated on his strongholds of Ukunda and Gombato/Bongwe ward.

Mr Boga did not fare well in these two wards, failing to garner 30 per cent of the total votes, a situation he is yet to understand.

"During the election day, we apprehended 12 people who were assigned by our opponents to bribe voters. We have evidence that the mini-poll was rigged but we did not want to go to court because of the long court process," he said.

Mr Boga also attributed his defeat to his opponents using bursary issuance as a bait to voters.

Strongholds

He alleged that the county government and National Government Constituency Development Fund (NGCDF) embarked on a bursary issuance in his strongholds.

"During the Covid-19, parents have been burdened and bursaries are so dear to our people. But more so they organised residents at Jogoo and other areas in my strongholds issuing bursary forms. As the people filled the forms, they were instructed to vote for my opponent," he said.

Mr Boga said despite losing, he will serve the people of Msambweni as he promised.

"As I promised I would be looking for job opportunities for the youth inside and outside the country. I'm happy we already have 20 youth who have secured jobs in Saudi Arabia and Dubai and my target is to get at least 1,000 youth by the end of next year," he said.

He also said he had empowered at least 500 women in various groups in the constituency by providing them with capital to start businesses.

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