Joho & Mohammed Ali’s Power Plays for next Mombasa Governor
By Gilbert Were
It looks like new political alliances and formations are coming up ahead of the 2022 elections. Allow me to table my opinion on the matter though I acknowledge that I may face some criticism. However, it is through that criticism that we will get a chance to know what really is going on and who is really for us or against us.
Over the weekend, the D.P, William Ruto, was in Mombasa on an invitation by Nyali M. P, Mohammed Ali, and former Mombasa Senator, Hassan Omar. Ruto’s visit was as a gesture of support and acknowledgment of the work the Nyali M. P has been able to do for his constituency and the achievements he has made so far in Nyali, some of which include, construction of a new high school and building a community library which is equipped with over 50 computers donated by the D. P.
It was seemingly evident that during the DP’s visit to the coastal town; new political formations were coming to shape. It could be seen that those allied to the Hustler Nation were coming out openly to show their allegiance to the “Hustler”.
Among those who were openly unhappy with the current political landscape was former senator, Hassan Omar, who out-rightly criticized the government on how they are running things at the moment. Mr. Omar, it is widely known, ran for the Mombasa gubernatorial seat in 2017 on a Wiper Party ticket, and lost. It was reported afterward that he felt shortchanged by his party leader, Kalonzo Musyoka, which eventually led him to ditch the party for Jubilee Party and campaign for UhuRuto re-election.
After UhuRuro formed government, many political pundits predicted that Mr. Omar may bag a government appointment of some sort, something that didn’t come to pass. Over the years, Mr.Omar has remained silent on matters politics, contrary to what others hoped, that he would be the biggest critic to the Joho led County Government in Mombasa, hopefully keeping it in check.
Businessman Suleiman Shabaal is yet another former Mombasa gubernatorial seat hopeful who went silent, but emerged in a recent webinar meeting where he was a key speaker, where he reiterated that he has learned “in business, sometimes you have to work with your competitors and give them a chance to showcase how much they can do.”
Shabaal who had been perceived by many as Joho’s fiercest rival, shook hands with Governor Joho, forming a new working relationship among them; most recently evidenced when the Covid-19 pandemic hit the county, where he played a big role in providing assistance to the Mombasa County health workers and offering donations through the county government to assist those worst affected.
As these leaders keep silent and leave the shortcomings of the county government unchallenged, many political pundits have seen this as the reason as to why Mohammed Ali’s prominence has grown in Mombasa, leading him to have some persuasion within the county, making him even more popular among the people.
Mohamed Ali has come out as a coastal Messiah of some sort, with his “nothing to lose” mentality and doing-it-for-the-people mantra. The rise to prominence by Ali has also been attributed to the recent impeachment motion against Transport CS James Macharia. With these factors in place, his political star and following are rising to the point that many believe that he is the man to watch out for in Mombasa.
In my opinion, the race for Mombasa’s top job will be between Mr. Suileiman Shabaal Vs Mohammed Ali/ Hassan Omar. Others along for the ride I am assuming could be, Tourism CS Najib Balala, Mvita M. P Abdulswamad Nassir, and Mr. Sanjeev Agarwal of Mombasa Eye Center. Others that may consider taking a shot at the job may be Hon. Mishi Mboko of Likoni and Hon. Ali Mbogo of Kisauni.
The truth is that either Governor Joho or Mohammed Ali will play a big role in determining the next Mombasa governor. With their following increasing day by day.
So simple political mathematics to consider in my opinion, if Mr. Shabaal receives support from Governor Joho, plus his supporters then he may be ahead by 50%. The other 50% is determined by his running mate, his presidential candidate (45%), and 5%of the campaign strength he will put.
For Hassan Omar to clinch the seat, he needs full support from Mohammed Ali, restructures his technical and strategy team, embraces the Tangatanga Mashinani ideology campaign, masters the magic numbers and refrains from activism politics.
For, Mohammed Ali, if he decides to throw himself into the mix, it is either the government of the day supports him or The People. His style of politics is different and has the ability to sense how the wind blows and captures it. Perhaps this new way of looking at things will entice voters more than the traditional way of doing things.
Shabaal’s campaign manager is Retired Major General Idris Abdirahman, who has also worked with Former Prime Minister, Raila Odinga. While Mr. Omar and Mohammed Ali receive good support from D.P William Ruto.
When all has been said and done, be prepared for a show of brute strength and might come 2022 Mombasa governor election. It still is an appealing seat to be had. Joho and Ali seem to have the chips with them, let’s wait and see where they will fall.