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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Mombasa governorship seat cause jitters ahead of 2017

Mombasa governor Hassan Joho will face a formidable opponent in his quest for a second term if schemes being crafted behind the scenes succeeds.
Sources say a group of influential businessmen and women of upcountry origin are burning midnight oil plotting on how to defeat Joho in the next general elections. It has also emerged, the plotters seems to have lost interest in Suleiman Shahbal who was thought to be a serious candidate for the seat.
Intelligence sources have revealed that the plotters of Joho defeat who are holding a series of meetings some going on upto late in the night in homes and hotels have since floated two names but which are still at the discussion stage. Former Coast PC Francis Baya’s name is featuring as well as that of Nyali MP Hezron Awiti.
For Baya who vied for the Kilifi gubernatorial seat and lost to Amason Kingi, the schemers believe he is saleable to voters since he is well known and having been at one time Coast PC, he understands Mombasa well. Secondly they say, his candidature will be attractive to the huge Mijikenda vote in the port city.
And for upcountry voters, they say Baya having begun his career as a district officer, he has worked in all parts of the country and therefore is less tribal and is in a position to understand how to handle complex issues.
Efforts to reach Baya for comment did not bear fruit but a close associate of his said the former administrator who is currently pursuing his Phd course at the University of Nairobi would be more than willing to serve Mombasa residents if given a chance. However, he said financing his campaigns would be a challenge given the huge amounts that are spent on Mombasa campaigns.
It is speculated that the amount of money that was used in the last general elections in the port city alone is in the range of billions of shillings.
And for Awiti, they say the Nyali MP is popular and enjoys the backing of all tribes in Mombasa. They say that if Evans Kidero managed to win Nairobi governor’s seat, it would be more easier for Awiti to clinch the Mombasa post.
And when reached for comment, Awiti neither confirmed nor denied that he will contest for governor. He said every politician is supposed to be ambitious for high office. He said that is why in the next general elections there are a number of politicians who will want to become president.
“I will jump into the opportunity if it represents itself. If the people of Mombasa demand that I be their governor, who am I to turn them down? By the way, this should have happened long time ago because the people of Mombasa are tired of mediocrity leadership.