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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Fresh face makes entry in Mombasa senator’s race

The battle for Mombasa senatorial seat is likely to go a notch higher in the next general elections following the entry of Mombasa businessman Farid Swaleh in the race.
Although Farid is yet to make an official declaration, his supporters are already criss crossing the county marketing him ahead of time. Farid’s supporters are capitalising on the alleged poor leadership of Senator Omar Hassan to introduce and market the transporter as an alternative candidate. 
Omar is accused by his supporters, especially the youth, of abandoning them after being elected. They claim he is inaccessible and has not fulfilled his election pledges. During the campaigns, the senator is said to have told the youth that once they elect him, joblessness would be a thing of the past in the county.
The youth who had high hopes in the senator to initiate programmes towards job creation in the county are now a disgruntled lot. They lament that in spite of Omar being close to Governor Hassan Joho, he has not achieved much for them.
It is against this background that Farid has managed to penetrate several constituencies and is building support bases among the youth, women groups and the disabled.
Farid, the TNA Coast region coordinator and managing director of Royal Hisham Transport Limited is an influential political operative in the port city. He began his political career by teaming up with the late Kijana Wamalwa. He campaigned for the re-election of Mwai Kibaki.
During the late Wamalwa’s tenure as vice president, the businessman was nicknamed Farid Wamalwa due to his then closeness to the late vice president. He acted as the VP’s personal assistant and was instrumental in introducing Wamalwa to top Mombasa business people.
After the exit of Kibaki, he was approached to campaign for Uhuru Kenyatta. He was appointed Coast region TNA coordinator. After the elections, it was expected Farid would join parliament as a nominated MP. However, this was not to be and the millions of shillings he invested in Jubilee campaigns seemingly have gone up in smoke.
It is said, Farid’s supporters seeing how he had assisted politicians from the Kibaki era upto now but who have not shown any gratitude by appointing him or nominating him to high office now want him to contest for a political seat in Mombasa.
“This boy has suffered in the hands of greedy politicians. We love him because he has assisted many people. We now want him to contest for Mombasa senatorial seat and we will show him how much we love him,” said Mohammed Omar, a resident of Kibokoni.