William Ruto, Raila Odinga men in Mombasa gang up against Mike Sonko bid

 Abdulswamad Nassir , Mike Sonko

From left: Mombasa gubernatorial candidates Hassan Omar  (UDA),  Abdulswamad Nassir (ODM) and former Nairobi governor Mike Sonko.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir and former Mombasa senator Hassan Omar have asked Wiper leader, Kalonzo Musyoka to stop meddling with the port city politics by fronting former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko.

Mr Nassir (ODM) and Mr Omar (UDA) are vying for the Mombasa gubernatorial seat. But the entry of Mr Sonko who was impeached in 2020 by the Nairobi County Assembly has caused panic among the gubernatorial aspirants. Mr Musyoka brokered a deal between Mr Sonko and Kisauni MP Ali Mbogo to have the latter as the former’s running mate on the Wiper ticket. 

However, the two gubernatorial aspirants said it is wrong for the Wiper party leader to impose a candidate in Mombasa. Mr Nassir said Mr Musyoka sent the former Naiorbi governor in Mombasa to scuttle the votes for Azimio La Umoja Presidential candidate Mr Raila Odinga.

“For ages, they have looked down upon Mombasa communities saying we are lazy, we love having fun, and that we are not wise. The stereotypes were used to ridicule us. Mr Musyoka has gone to the extent of imposing a leader like Sonko on us, what kind of contempt is that? Mombasa residents do not elect anyone on Wiper,” said Mr Omar who spoke during an Ifthar dinner in Mombasa.  

He said among the aspirants in Mombasa, he is the only candidate who is ready to bring change in the port city.

 “Why bring us a leader who was impeached? Do we deserve that? We will punish you and teach you a lesson by voting out any candidate vying on the Wiper ticket. It is not a laughing matter anymore,” said Mr Omar.

 Mr Nassir said Mr Sonko has been quoted severally stating that he never wanted to vie in the port city but he was asked by the Wiper leader. 

 “A month ago I travelled with Mr Sonko, but he never told me anything about Mombasa politics. I heard him saying on TV that he was pushed to vie in Mombasa by Mr Musyoka whom I would like to ask to stop creating chaos in Azimio La Umoja. He could have come to vie in Mombasa instead of sending his emissary,” said Mr Nassir during an interview with local radio stations.

Mr Nassir a second-term MP said Mr Musyoka sent the governor who was impeached by the Nairobi county assembly in 2020 to fight the ODM leader.

“He is fielding candidates in all Mr Odinga’s strongholds to divide his votes. It is a cat and mouse game. Mr Sonko was very innocent, I saw him speak on the media and he was categorical that he has been sent. If he is Musyoka’s project we know it by now, but this is a bigger issue to fight our presidential candidate,” he claimed.

Mr Nassir who bagged the ODM party ticket further warned residents against voting for UDA candidate Hassan Omar saying he is not sincere.   

The MP further refuted claims that he was fronted to vie for the seat by Governor Hassan Joho whose term is expiring in August 9.

“I want to put it clean I knew Mr Joho before he became Kisauni MP, an assistant minister but I had not even contemplated joining politics. Later, he went on to become a Governor. I have differed with him politically and in leadership. Our leadership style is different,” he said. 

Mr Nassir, a son of a former powerful minister in the KANU regime, Mr Sharrif Nassir said he has always criticized the county government, especially on the drainage, sewerage challenges and issuance of permits.   

“People have to be held accountable what if there is an outbreak of disease? I was one time condemned for criticizing my friend the Governor. Judge me for what I have done, in parliament I have always been there for the people of Mombasa,” he said. 

On the thorny issue of pending bills, the MP said that once elected, he will sit down with stakeholders to address the challenge and find a solution.

On the water challenges, Mr Nassir said the solution is in desalination.  

Mr Nassir who has put up small desalination plants in public schools in his constituency to ensure a sufficient supply of clean water says that once elected he will collaborate with investors to set up the project for the residents.  

“Government should be a facilitator, ensuring there is a conducive environment for investors to come in. Public-Private Partnership is crucial to enhance growth and address challenges. For instance, on the lighting system I will ensure we tap into solar,” said the second-term MP. 

He says he is happy for Mr Shahbal who dropped his bid to support him saying he is currently on the Azimio La Umoja campaign trail with Mr Odinga. Mr Nassir said Mr Shahbal had also agreed to help him bag the seat. 

“There was heightened tension at first but I am glad we have resolved everything, we will be continuously be sharing ideas. I tell him my vision and he has shown me his, which are almost similar, especially on the issue of taking funds to the ward level,” he added.   

He said ODM conducted three opinion polls to determine its flag bearer for the Mombasa gubernatorial seat.  

“But in politics loyalty plays a bigger role. Those who were supporting my brother Mr Shahbal I urge you to rally behind me,” said Mr Nassir. 

He said he has had several meetings with Mr Shahbal where they agreed to work together. 

Mr Nassir said he is a solution-oriented leader and he will ensure everyone is put to task to do their mandate.

 He said for the last 10 years in Mvita parliamentary seat he has been voted among the best MPs.  

Mr Nassir lauded Mr Joho for transforming the health sector in Mombasa with Coast General Teaching and Referral Hospital (CGTRH) being the first public facility to begin conducting open-heart surgeries and radiotherapy treatment. 

He said the governor has built hospitals in Kisauni, Changamwe, Likoni and Jomvu sub-counties. 

“Salaries are the only challenges affecting the county. There have been challenges and success stories as well.” He added. 

On the high cost of doing business in Mombasa, the MP said zoning must be conducted to ascertain areas that need high or low areas licenses.

“You cannot charge a business within the city centre the same as one in the outskirts. SGR affected Mombasa’s economy which depends on logistics and storage,” he said.  

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