Kenya: Governor Joho Bullish in Msambweni

20 November 2020

Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho has camped in Msambweni to campaign for Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) candidate Omar Boga in the December 15 by-election.

Mr Joho urged residents to vote for Mr Boga "because he is already in the government".

"Do not vote for a partyless candidate. Where will such an MP run for support when he finds himself in problems?" the governor told a rally recently.

"Boga will seek help from President Uhuru Kenyatta, (ODM leader Raila) Odinga and other government officials."

Mr Boga's main challenger, Feisal Abdallah Bader, is running as an independent candidate.

Mr Bader is the nephew of the immediate former Msambweni MP Suleiman Dori, who died in March.

Mr Bader, an independent candidate, enjoys the support of Deputy President William Ruto.

The Ruto brigade made up of former senator Hassan Omar (Mombasa), Johnson Muthama (Machakos) and Boni Khalwale (Kakamega) has been campaigning for Mr Bader.

Unemployment

Governor Joho told the Ruto team "not to take Msambweni people for granted".

"Do not gamble with people's lives. Msambweni residents face many problems, including unemployment and land disputes. These can only be solved by a sober leader, a person who has the interests of the people at heart," the Mombasa county boss said, adding that the ODM man would steer the constituency to development.

Mr Boga pleaded for votes, saying he has experience as a leader and would focus on promoting tourism and fishing once elected to Parliament.

"Msambweni is endowed with many resources. Only a visionary leader will ensure residents reap from these. We want to drive poverty away," he said.

Mr Boga promised to work with the government in dealing with security problems.

Kwale ODM chairman Hassan Mwanyoha said the vote hunt has intensified, with party grassroot leaders leading door-to-door campaigns.

The former Matuga MP has marshalled campaign teams and strategies targeting particular groups.

"The ODM campaigns are ongoing but we changed the strategy from rallies to door-to-door due to the coronavirus pandemic. There are restrictions and we must observe the guidelines set by the Ministry of Health," Mr Mwanyoha said.

Independent candidates

As the former opposition party intensifies its campaigns, so are the independent candidates and other outfits scrambling for the more than 68,000 votes.

Other independents in the race to succeed Mr Dori are Mansury Kumaka and Charles Bilali while the remaining contenders are Shee Abdulrahman (Wiper Party), Marere Wamwachai (New Vision Party), Hassan Mwakulonda (Party of Economic Democracy) and Khamis Mwakaonje (United Green Movement).

Mr Dori died at Aga Khan Hospital, Nairobi, on March 9.

ffadhili@ke.nationmedia.com

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