Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leaders in Mombasa have vowed not to allow the governor’s seat to be grabbed by any other party, foreshadowing a fierce political duel ahead of the August 9 elections.
Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho and Mvita MP Abdulswammad Shariff Nassir, who is vying for the position, said campaigns had begun after Ramadhan and they would move door to door to ensure residents vote for ODM in all elective positions.
The ODM team criticised Wiper’s decision to endorse Mike Sonko for the seat despite agreeing on several issues under the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition party.
“We are seeing some of our friends have decided to bring their fight to our backyard and we are going to use all our resources but peacefully to ensure Mombasa people get the next governor who knows their problems,” Governor Joho said.
He slammed Mr Sonko for what he called intruding into his political backyard as the succession race gathers momentum.
“I took time since 2017 … to ensure I hand over to the right person, who is Mr Nassir. Whoever thinks he can come at the last minute to change the minds of our people through propaganda and money, [he should know] we are not that desperate to accommodate those who have been rejected elsewhere,” Mr Joho said.
Speaking after Idd prayers, when hundreds turned up to mark the end of the holy month of Ramadhan, Joho and his lieutenants directed their guns at the Wiper party, which is now proving to be a threat after Mr Sonko’s entry into the race.
“We are now in politics and I will be blamed if I leave the seat in the wrong hands and I can assure you I will be at the national level but in Mombasa I am sure Mr Nassir will be the next governor. Now that they are invading our territory, we shall start campaigns by calling our Mombasa people to vote six-piece from presidential, where Mr Raila Odinga will be our candidate, down to the county level,” said Mr Joho.
Mr Nassir has also claimed that Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka is fronting Mr Sonko to vie in the port city to fight Mr Odinga.
He has asked Mr Musyoka to stop meddling in Mombasa politics by pushing Mr Sonko’s candidacy.
“A month ago, I travelled with Mr Sonko. I heard he was sent to vie in Mombasa by Mr Musyoka, whom I would like to ask to stop creating chaos in Azimio la Umoja. He could have fronted his name to come and vie in Mombasa instead of sending his emissary,” said Mr Nassir.
Mr Nassir, who will fly ODM’s flag, also warned residents against voting for UDA candidate Hassan Omar, saying he is not sincere.
Others in the race for the Mombasa governor’s seat are Deputy Governor William Kingi (Pamoja African Alliance) and Hezron Awiti of the Vibrant Democratic Party (VDP).