The Star (Nairobi)

15 January 2013

Kenya: Joho to Pick Woman As Running Mate

MOMBASA county governor aspirant Ali Hassan Joho is set to name a woman as his running mate ahead of the Cord primaries.The move is seen as one that will boost his bid on March 4 general election.

Joho who has intensified his campaigns to be the first governor is keen to ensure that ethnic, religious and gender factors are balanced. He hopes to receive the huge support from the cosmopolitan town.

Speaking on the phone yesterday Joho, who did not want to delve too much into the issue said, he will name his running mate tomorrow, a day to the primaries.

The nominations have thrown Mombasa town into an early campaign mood as the major alliances prepare to pick their candidates for various positions.

"We are going to make a big announcement that concerns our team in general and I want to assure Mombasa voters that our line-up will be all inclusive and therefore, is the one to beat. We must bring on board everybody for an all inclusive county government," said Joho.

Sources within his communication team said the campaign team decided to name a woman after considering several factors including religion, regional balance and gender given the fact that women constitute the majority of voters in the area.

"The choice of whoever is to be named running mate was triggered by pressure from various groups that are influential in the forthcoming general elections apart from the fact that such issues like gender, religion cannot be ignored," said the source.

The source revealed that Joho has been very keen to having a Christian as his deputy given the fact that they form the majority in the region as well as having a representative from all the communities living in Mombasa within his county government.

The announcement amid campaigns by Mombasa Anglican Bishop Julius Kalu who has been urging residents of Kilifi, Kwale, Tana River, Lamu and Taita/Taveta to ensure that they have a hand in whoever becomes the governor in the port city which is Coast's economic hub.

"We cannot sit and watch as Mombasa goes to elect the first governor we must ensure that we are in the county government because that is our economic hub," said Kalu in Rabai a week a go.

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