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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 14 September 2014


There is seemingly no harmony at Mombasa county offices as corruption is said to have taken centre stage and entrenched itself  in the corridors of the county government with a cartel taking charge of operations in a multi-billion shillings tendering processes.

 On numerous occasions, the previous regime of former President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga was informed of issues affecting residents but nothing was done to stop this menace.

It is said Governor Hassan Joho and his brothers are running Mombasa county affairs like their personal family property. They have perfected the art of intimidation, harassment and extortion in running the affairs of the county much to the detriment of the county residents, it is claimed.

It is alleged they have stopped using proxies in most developments by private developers unless they are paid a substantial amount of money and investors who seek county approvals of new plans have to part with cash or allocate them part of the development otherwise plans will not be approved. Some developments which had been approved by the previous Mombasa Municipal Council have stalled.

Most tenders in the county are allegedly awarded to their companies yet the state of the roads, lighting and other public amenities are in pathetic condition.
It is even alleged that drug barons and financiers of terror groups in the coastal town enjoy political protection.

Some residents are now challenging police to investigate if ivory, drugs and other contrabands are accorded escort by county police cars.
Sources say that Shed 7 leased by the Joho family from Kenya Ports Authority has its operations shrouded in suspicion as to what really goes on in there. It is used to transfer sugar and other commodities destined for Uganda, where Joho earned his controversial degree. It is claimed, duty for containers at the Portside and Autoports CFS is never fully paid since the KRA top brass are personal friends and have been compromised.

A source at Mombasa land office alleged the Johos have taken over properties of absentee landlords mostly Europeans and Asians in Coast province targeting properties in Kwale, Kilifi, Tana River and Lamu. Prime properties under the Mombasa county, it is said, Kenya Ports Authority and half of Kenya Railways in Mombasa are under their possession. Joho is said to have bought the whole of Kenya Railways land in Kizingo in a deal facilitated by the Kenya Railways Pension Scheme chairman Rodgers Washika. The matter is under investigation of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission  and pensioners are planning to hold demonstrations across the country demanding to cancellation of the deal and any other involving Kenya Railways land to be stopped.

Outside the coast region, the Johos own properties in Athi River, Karen and Muthaiga. The lands were acquired with the help Senator James Orengo then minister for Lands. Those well versed with their land deals say they have befriended Muhammed Swazuri, chairman of the National Land Commission but Swazuri is said to be apprehensive and would wish to steer the commission without undue influence on matters of land in the country.

In the land deals is Abu Joho, who  boasts to be close to a section in Jubilee including State House and the deputy president’s personal assistant Farouk Kibett. He has vast interests in the port of Mombasa.
Those well versed with their operations claim some senators, cabinet secretaries and principal secretaries have been compromised by the group. It is interesting to note that most MPs from the region have fallen out with Joho and those still with him are either in financial crisis or are being blackmailed.

To show how well linked they are, many were shocked to see  President Uhuru Kenyatta’s entourage to the US include Joho’s brother, Hussein Hamid (Dodi). He was seen always enjoying and having fun with members of the entourage including Rachael Shebesh, the Nairobi women representative, Senator Mike Sonko and CS Michael Kamau. It was also noted that a Lamu county assembly member nicknamed “watermelon” was part of the team. During the president’s visit, Abu went to Abu Dhabi in anticipation to meet the president.

Back to the county, one Swale Abdalla Mwamulevi of directorate of inspectorate is on the spot.
He is close to Khamis Mwabashiri, leader of majority in the assembly and has appointed two officers at checkpoints whom he always meets every evening at Kenyatta Beach. Known to use miraa, he always boasts of being untouchable. Others that he uses are Athumani Mwizimtoto, Richard Munaka, Saidi Mumo and one Odhiambo.

Other notorious officers are one Osongo, Jamali, Tyson, Hamisi and Hasan. Jamali and Tyson intercept vehicles in plainclothes and have Kangaroo court behind the Fire Brigade where they use a car which does not have government number plates and they fine people to tune of Sh 15,000 to Sh20,000, it is claimed.

They always use private breakdowns instead of city council breakdowns and get commission from the owner of the breakdown. Jamali is not an employee of county government and is an imposter and recently, journalists under cover photographed him when he was harassing residents in motor vehicles.

Jamali always pretends that Abu is his cousin. Mwamulevi is known to send his team to hawkers at Likoni terminals to harass them. We have established that every hawker contributes Sh300 within Central Business District. Chang’aa and mnazi sellers are not spared either as they are forced to pay Sh500.