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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Daggers drawn as Nyali MP made Wiper official

Nyali MP Hezron Awiti who is eyeing the Mombasa governor seat 2017 has been appointed Wiper party national treasurer, in a move his supporters say befits his ambitions.
As the national treasurer, Awiti is now among the top Wiper officials the same way Mombasa governor Hassan Joho is a top ODM official being deputy party leader. Initially, Awiti had wanted to be also appointed deputy party leader but Kalonzo Musyoka, the party leader reportedly advised him that the seat of treasurers was more relevant and appropriate for him.
Awiti’s underground campaigns for governor seat have begun to cause political storm at the port city. Late night strategic meetings are taking place and campaign committees among all communities are being constituted.
When the MP hosted Kalonzo in Mombasa a few weeks ago, the Coastal town almost came to a standstill as the convoy of more than 200 vehicles snaked their way from the Moi International Airport towards Wild Waters, the venue of the meeting.
Initially, rumours had it that Awiti would contest for governor’s seat had been dismissed by his opponents who cited many factors as to why the Nyali MP will not go for the post. Chief among the factors was that the MP did not posses a university degree. However, to the shock of his critics and opponents, it has emerged the Nyali MP is well prepared and has a degree from a recognised university.
This revelation has thrown off balance the MP’s opponents who have now been forced to go back to the drawing board. It had been assumed by Joho camp that they would be dealing with the same Suleiman Shahbal whom they beat hands down in the last general elections and subsequently thrashed him in court battles.
But the emergence of Awiti whose strategy is to unite voters from upcountry behind him is bound to give Joho a headache especially if he runs away with his native Luo voters who are an important factor in the Mombasa governor’s support base. Indeed, due to the central role Luo voters played in Joho’s victory, he rewarded the community with several appointments in his county government.
To perhaps show that the battle among the two politicians is bound to be nasty as time goes by, last week, they traded accusations over the existence of a certain garage at Kongowea in Nyali constituency. While the governor ordered the yard demolished accusing Awiti and area MCA Oduor Jabess of protecting the owner, whom he described as a grabber, the MP hit back saying the governor should stop harassing innocent investors.
 He said court orders must be respected. Awiti further warned the governor that the county must be administered lawfully; saying citizens will not allow unnecessary harassment from the county government. He said he will defend those who will be evicted.
However, the Mombasa governor was quoted saying he would not entertain grabbing in the county and that the garage owner must be evicted and the structure demolished immediately.