The Star (Nairobi)

26 November 2012

Kenya: Shahbal Blames Mombasa Slump On 'Illiterate Mayors'

Mombasa county has not developed well because of uneducated leadership over the years, Mombasa governor hopeful Suleiman Shahbal has said. Shahbal said the Coastal city has elected three illiterate mayors before thereby hampering the socio-economic progress of the residents.

He said this has led to Mombasa city being bankrupt as it has an accumulated debt of about Sh4.5 billion. "Now after the elections, my biggest problem will not be garbage collection anymore. It will be how to reverse the bankruptcy

The former banker lamented that the educated individuals in the county shy away from politics saying it is a dirty game. "If all educated people chicken out because they are afraid of being insulted, who takes over? It is the hooligans and uneducated people," he said.

He said this then puts the lives of all residents of the county at risk because all the legal and political authority is placed on illiterate individuals who then get the power to make decisions at the stroke of a pen. "Giving legal authority to illiterate people means giving them licenses to grab land and surrendering financial resources to them," said Shahbal.

Speaking to student from Mombasa Polytechnic University College in his secretariat in Kizingo on Friday, Shahbal said several acres of land belonging to schools like Shimo la Tewa high have been grabbed due to this.

He said politics is understanding what a country or a county needs and working towards ensuring that the country or county gets what its needs. "I challenge the educated people take responsibility and start thinking of their contribution to the country," said Shahbal.

He cautioned against tribal and racial inclination saying the era of the vice is long gone. "If Shabir, who is of Indian origin, can go and become an MP in Kisumu, why can't Awiti become an MP in Mombasa?" he posed.

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