• Professor says Kisauni and Likoni are inhabited by the Mijikenda, who make up 50 per cent of Mombasa voters.
• So far, at least 10 individuals have shown interest in succeeding Joho.
Kisauni, Likoni and Nyali constituencies of Mombasa will determine the next governor in 2022, based on 2019 Census results.
Mombasa has a population of 1,208,335 people, the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics reported.
In the 2009 Vensus, Mombasa had a total population of 993,370, signifying a growth rate of 214,965 people (17.8 per cent) in the last decade.
The 2019 Census indicated that the larger Kisauni region has 291,930 people, followed by Likoni with 250,358 and Nyali with 216,577.
Jomvu constituency has 163,415 people, whilMvita has 154,171 and Changamwe (131,882).
Kisauni has maintained the lead asthe most populous constituency in the county.
In 2009, Kisauni had 194,065 people, followed by Nyali with 185,990 people, Changamwe 147, 613 and Mvita with 143,218 people.
Jomvu had 102,566 people, whereas Likoni had 116,008.
According to Coast political analysts, Kisauni, Likoni and Nyali will play a critical role on who will become the next governor.
“Any person who wants to become the next Mombasa governorwill have to appeal to voters in these three regions,” Pwani University professor Rocha Chimerah said.
He said Kisauni and Likoni are inhabited by the Mijikenda, who make up 50 per cent of Mombasa voters.
So far, at least 10 individuals have shown interest succeeding Joho, who is serving his second and final term.
Suleiman Shahbal of Jubilee, who lost to Joho twice, is still believed to be in the race, former Mombasa Senator Hassan Omar is believed to be planning to make a comeback and Tourism CS Najib Balala is also said to be strategising.
Former county secretary Francis Thoya has been on the ground campaigning, Kisauni MP Ali Mbogo has also been boasting that he will be the next governor and Joho’s deputy William Kingi has also declared interest.
However, Thoya believes he has a strong network in populous Kisauni constituency that propelled Joho to the governorship. Kingi was a campaign strategist in Joho’s camp.
Before being elected governor, Joho was Kisauni MP.
Mombasa Speaker Aharub Khatri’s name has also featured in most of the political debates as the possible replacement for Joho whereas Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir’s has his troops on the ground.
Changamwe MP Omar Mwinyi is also said to be in the race, as is Likoni's Mishi Mboko, who replaced long-serving Masoud Mwahima to become the first woman MP in Mombasa.
Kingi, Thoya and Mbogo will face each other in their Kisauni backyard, whereas Nassir, Omar, Khatri and Balala will share the spoils in Mvita. Shahbal, Mboko and Mwinyi will be fighting to protect their votes in Nyali, Likoni and Changamwe constituencies, respectively.
Mboko has a name in the county and in national politics. It will be easy to sell Mboko compared to others in the region, even though she is a woman.A political observer.
However, Professor Chimerah said the contest for governor will be between Balala, Shahbal and Mbogo because of their huge clout and political following.
“Balala will outshine Nassir in Mvita and has the backing of the Mijikenda, Shahbal has been in the race for the last two elections and Mbogo is strong in his Kisauni backyard,” he said.
Mboko’s camp, however, believes she will pull a surprise in the poll.
“Mboko will be a force to reckon because she is the only governor candidate from Likoni, which is the second most populous constituency. She has all her votes in the basket,” an insider in her camp told the Star.
Mboko is also seen as a stronger loyalist to ODM than Nassir, Mwinyi and Khatri.
“She has a name in the county and in national politics. It will be easy to sell Mboko compared to others in the region, even though she is a woman,” a source said.
Edited by R.Wamochie