Mombasa senator Hassan Omar Sarai (centre), Jubilee Alliance Party (JAP) activist Mohamed Salim alias Thenge (left) and aspirant for the Mombasa Women Representative seat Miraj Abdullah during iftar organized by UhurRuto Jubilee Mashinani team Likoni at Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) Centre in Likoni constituency, Mombasa county.
PHOTO/KELVIN KARANI (STANDARD)
By ABDULKARIM SHERMAN
Time has come for the Coast to chart its own political future to achieve its goals and interests Mombasa Senator Omar Hassan has declared.
The senator told a gathering called to break the Muslim fast (Iftar) that time had come for the Coast to decide which political parties to associate with because “politics is give and take and it is about interests and gains” according to the Standard Digital.
The function at which Omar launched his criticism against Cord leadership was organised by lobby groups and was hosted by Jubilee politicians Mohamed Thenge and Ali Mwatsahu.
Mr Omar said Coast communities ought to plot to achieve their interests because others were doing so. “We need to see how we can organise (ourselves) so that we associate with other political parties to achieve our vision,” he said.
“If we do not do this we will be manipulated and then complain we are marginalised,” he added. The senator argued that every community has a right to organise itself so that it can decide what politics to pursue.
“Communities are organising and mobilising. I am in Wiper and every day, the Akamba are organising. In ODM the Luo are organising. Everybody is plotting here in Mombasa and we are the only ones who are not,” Mr Omar said. He said the Coast cannot keep using the same strategy.
Mr Omar’s declaration is set to be put him at loggerheads with Cord supporters who have indicated just like the ODM Secretary-General, Ababu Namwamba, he is set to defect from the Cord coalition.
Mr Omar who has declared in the Mombasa Governor’s seat said the island residents had not benefited from ODM’s control of the County.
He accused Governor Hassan Joho of mismanaging the county government. He said come next year, he would seek support from all voters, including Jubilee supporters.
According to the Standard Digital, the Wiper Democratic Movement secretary general also criticised ODM leader Raila Odinga for accepting a recent invitation by Mr Joho to distribute bursaries in Mombasa.
The legislator, who has in the past been accused of rocking the Opposition from within, said Mr Raila should not have attended the function where Sh101 million was distributed to 10,000 needy students because the governor wanted to exploit it for political capital.
“If Raila told (President) Uhuru Kenyatta not to come here and distribute title deeds, then Joho has no right to invite him to give bursaries each of Sh6,000,” Mr Omar said.
He suggested chiefs ought to have distributed the bursary cheques. Mr Omar launched the attack on Sunday, a day after Raila and several CORD leaders including Machakos Senator Johnstone Muthama (Wiper) visited Kilifi.
Mr Omar did not attend two functions by the CORD leaders in Kilifi. The lawmaker is at loggerheads with Joho and Nyali MP Hezron Awiti Bolo, who wants to unseat Joho.
Mr Omar has led a relentless campaign against Joho’s administration, including when the governor was reeling under alleged persecution by the State early this year.
Mr Joho has refrained from directly replying to his friend-turned-foe. The county chief has often used proxies and spokesmen to depict Omar as temperamental.
He had accused the senator of trying to promote his gubernatorial bid through insults because he was unable to demonstrate that he can be a better governor. Joho is away in Mecca and has avoided political squabbles during the holy month of Ramadhan.
“There are those who are boasting that they are indispensable within certain political parties but I want to ask you from ODM if anyone has benefited from this (county) government,” Mr Omar said. He said those expecting Joho to run for the presidency in 2022 and win were hallucinating.
Mr Thenge, who vied for the Mvita parliamentary seat on The National Alliance (TNA) ticket, said he was confident Omar would be Mombasa’s next governor.
“I am sweet-talking Senator Omar to join us and as you can see, he has come,” he said. Omar asked Coast communities to increase their bargaining power by developing interest in politics and casting their votes in large numbers.
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