Kenya's Most Authoritative Political Newspaper

Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Raila walks thin line in Joho, Awiti fights

Cord leader Raila Odinga appears to be in a dilemma over how to handle the political feuding of his two most trusted allies in Mombasa politics governor Hassan Joho and Nyali MP Awiti Bolo.
Sources have it that while in Mombasa recently where he attended a church service together with the Nyali MP, Raila told Awiti to be steadfast in pursuit of his political dream and to continue demanding for transparency and accountability from the county government on how resources are being spent.
Raila reportedly paid glowing tribute to Awiti as ‘a true Cord’ whom he has no doubts, saying the Nyali MP had contributed a lot in building and supporting the Cord family.
Awiti has since become a thorn in the flesh of Joho’s leadership in Mombasa. The Nyali MP has sent signals that he is prepared to do battle with Joho. Recently, he has been touring neighbouring constituencies to ‘greet’ the people. He has been to Changamwe and Likoni constituencies.
In Changamwe constituency, MP Omar Mwinyi snubbed Awiti’s meet the people tour that took him to Akamba handicraft and other places in the constituency but in Likoni constituency, area MP Masoud Mwahima mobilised residents to welcome the Nyali MP.
Mwahima has reportedly never forgiven Joho for allegedly undermining and ignoring him when he constituted his county cabinet. The Likoni MP is also bitter that the Mombasa governor was among other things, grooming someone to contest against him.
Close allies of the Likoni MP say he had wanted to retire from politics at the end of his current parliamentary term but has decided to defend his seat in 2017 to defeat his opponents and teach Joho a political lesson.
The Joho camp is alarmed that Awiti was now enjoying the support of hawkers who were violently evicted by the county government from the central business district and suffered heavy losses.
The hawkers, most of who are from upcountry are a formidable voting bloc in the county. After their eviction, the hawkers had vowed to rally behind someone else come 2017. They were initially focused on supporting governor loser Suleiman Shahbal but they claim he lacks the political fire to defeat Joho.