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Shahbal, Omar clash over Mombasa leadership

Omar says Mombasa will have many investments including special economic zone, free port and blue economy.

In Summary
  •  The former Mombasa senator on Saturday said Shahbal will not serve the interests of the people of Mombasa should he become Governor.
  • However, Shahbal dismissed Omar as a desperate man who only looks for fights so he can raise his profile.
Former Mombasa Senator Hassan Omar at the Renaissance Centre in Kizingo, Mombasa, on Saturday
ON THE OFFENSIVE: Former Mombasa Senator Hassan Omar at the Renaissance Centre in Kizingo, Mombasa, on Saturday
Image: JOHN CHESOLI

Deputy President William Ruto’s ally Hassan Omar has dismissed Suleiman Shahbal as an emissary of powerful people in Nairobi seeking to control the county.

The former Mombasa senator on Saturday said Shahbal would not serve the interests of the people of Mombasa should he become the governor.

Instead, he said, he will sell the county to "those who have sent him".

Speaking at his Renaissance Centre offices in Mombasa, Omar said Mombasa residents do not want to undergo another period of suffering like they have for the last eight years.

“I don’t fear Shahbal. He is a matchbox fire. I am concerned with those who have sent him to vie for the governor position,” Omar said.

The Ruto ally said Mombasa will have many investments including a special economic zone, free port and the blue economy, which are lucrative to those powerful people.

 “So, they looked for someone who will dance to their tune,” Omar said.

He said Mombasa residents will defeat all the plans they have and take over the management of their own affairs.

However, Shahbal dismissed Omar as a desperate man who only looks for fights so he can raise his profile.

“We will not respond to him. Let him insult people while we work for the people of Mombasa,” said Shahbal through his aide Idris Abdulrahman on Sunday.

Both Omar and Shahbal are eyeing the governor position.

Omar has been attacking Shahbal over the Buxton housing project set to start in January next year.

Last Thursday, ODM leader Raila Odinga expressed optimism for the project after Shahbal briefed him at his Capitol Hill office in Nairobi.

“I have followed the Buxton Affordable Housing Project in Mombasa with keen interest because it could mark the beginning of similar initiatives by the private sector across the country,” Raila tweeted.

“A briefing earlier today by Suleiman Shahbal got me more convinced it’s a worthy cause.”

However on Saturday Omar hit out at Raila, saying his Capitol Hill office is being used to sanitise dirty projects.

“We are telling Raila, people should not come to your laundry shop to get sanitised,” Omar said.

Edited by Henry Makori