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Monday, July 24, 2017

Hostility waters down ODM plan to win Lamu

Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho in Lamu, Mkunguni square on Saturday./COURTESY
Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho in Lamu, Mkunguni square on Saturday./COURTESY

ODM will be forced back to the drawing board if they are to take over Lamu county if the hostile reception at Mpeketoni on Saturday is anything to go by.

The leaders were heckled and pelted with stones and mangoes as they attempted to address Mpeketoni residents. The area is a perceived Jubilee zone.

The Orange party, whose pointman in Lamu is businessman and politician Rishad Amana, plans to win both the Lamu West and the Lamu East MP seats. Sources in ODM have told the Star that part of their plan is to woo Governor Issa Timamy.

The ODM Lamu tour was led by deputy party leader and Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho.

Jubilee has the support of the two MPs in the county – Julius Ndegwa of Lamu West and Athman Shariff of Lamu East. Insiders say ODM was using the rally to show the party is popular in the county, which they would use to woo Timamy later.

However, the plan, though largely successful considering the rallies they conducted in other parts of Lamu county had huge turnouts, hit a snag at Mpeketoni.

ODM insider Hamisi Mwaguya, a close ally of Joho, said it was expected that Mpeketoni would be hostile. “A black spot on a white sheet will always be the talking point. The tour was a success in the larger Lamu, except in Mpeketoni, which we know is a Jubilee zone,” he said on phone on Saturday.

Asked whether the weekend tour would include overtures to Timamy, Amana was non-committal.

“I did not invite him [Governor Timamy] because he is not in our team. He will be invited by Governor Joho, because they are both governors. I don’t know if they have talked,” he said on Friday. Amana is eyeing the Lamu West MP position.

Mpeketoni is dominated by members of the Kikuyu community, the majority of whom support the reelection of Jubilee Party’s President Uhuru Kenyatta. On Saturday, they demanded that Joho apologise to Uhuru before he addressed them.

Uhuru and Joho have been involved in a political fight centred around projects in Mombasa county.

Last week, police blocked Joho from attending a state function as the Mtongwe ferry services were being launched by the President. Joho was surrounded by heavily armed police officers at the Nyali bridge.

In 2013, ODM only won two MCA slots in the entire county. There are 10 wards in the county. Hindi’s Ahmed Abdu Kassim and Shella’s Mbarak Azhar Ali are the only MCAs elected on the ODM ticket. Two others, including Husuni Husuni Alawi and Mohamed Zahara Shee, are nominated.

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