• Hatimy is a rare breed of politicians who held civic leadership positions without vying for any.
• Until his death early last Saturday due to a lung infection related to Covid-19, he held the powerful Finance docket at the county assembly.
He was not just your ordinary politician or MCA.
Having been nominated twice in the county assembly as an MCA, in 2013 and 2017, Mohammed Hatimy also served as a nominated councillor in the defunct Mombasa Municipal Council from 2007.
He goes down as a rare breed of a politician who held civic leadership positions without vying for any, right during the Kanu regime.
Hatimy was also one of the longest-serving officials at Kenya Football Federation, having been in football administration for 24 years before he switched to politics.
Until his death early last Saturday due to a lung infection related to Covid-19, he held the powerful Finance docket at the county assembly.
Hatimy, famously known as Babadi, was Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho’s eye at the county and beyond.
He was instrumental in several ceasefire situations in the town and also a foot soldier of the Governor.
There are fears that ODM might begin to wither in Mombasa since he played a pivotal role in strengthening the party.
Being a ‘behind the scenes’ person, coupled with his generous and down to earth nature, saw him win admiration from many.
As a nominated MCA, he served the county and the nation with distinction and pride and always yielded impeccable outcomes in every responsibility that was entrusted to him.Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho
His death came as a major blow to Mombasa politics.
Babadi was also known to have bankrolled several politicians in the region and at large, the ODM party.
Hatimy, who was in his mid-60s, was ODM’s chairperson in Mombasa and a 'Mr Fix It'.
In some adverse situations at the county assembly, he had to take the party position to resolve and streamline the animosity between MCAs and Joho.
One such case was when in 2019 when there were calls to have the county assembly disbanded and send all MCAs home over clashes with the executive.
He had on several occasions been instrumental in calculatingly establishing a working relationship between the assembly and the executive.
Joho’s former political Advisor Idris Abdirahman, remembered Hatimy as a generous, loyal politician who did not need Joho’s or the ODM’s supervision to deliver since he understood what needed to be done.
“I worked closely with him to ensure we reclaim all party positions in the region. He was very reliable in uniting the ODM family,” Idris said.
During the first term of devolution, several MCAs and leadership at the county assembly became rebels, prompting Hatimy and his foot soldiers to spin into action.
“He managed the ODM youth league well and ensured MCAs had frequent meetings with Joho just to streamline operations. He was a man with foresight,” Idris added.
As the head of finance, the father of four ensured the finance committee and department of finance and economic planning smoothly co-existed.
“Budgets were passed on time and he ensured MCAs understood what is at stake,” he said.
Hatimy would fix legal issues facing the Governor, meet lawyers, avail needed documentation despite not being a lawyer.
“He was our walking dictionary on matters law. He was a businessman but did lots of studying,” Idris said of him.
Murfad Amur, Old Town MCA, who was his childhood friend having both been raised in Old Town, said Babadi, a one-time long-serving Kenya Football Federation chairman, was a charitable man.
“He carried his father’s mantle of an orphanage in Utange and ensured he helped orphans, widows and youth,” said Amur.
Raised in Mkanyageni, and Ngilani areas in Old Town, Hatimy’s family roots had established several houses in the area, and when he grew up, he lived just near the neighbourhood, at Kizingo with his family.
“As my mentor, he always advised me to be slow to anger and was a man of the people, very down to earth,” said Amur.
Amur said Hatimy lived a life knowing that he would one day die, and his mantle was ‘Live your life but remember there us God and you cannot repay evil with evil’.
At the time of his death, Amur said Hatimy was studying a degree course, having been with him in schools locally during their childhood days before he also studied abroad.
“He loved books and research and always encouraged me to aim higher in education,” Amur said.
Hatimy’s family has suffered several deaths this year following his brother’s death in early March, Muhidin Dini Hatimy, who died in the UK, then his brother in law three weeks ago, and his mother in law (wife’s mother), two weeks ago.
He was married to Dr Khadija Shikelly, the Mombasa County Medical Services Chief Officer.
The MCA was among seven others who tested Covid-19 positive leading to the temporary closure of the assembly on October 27.
Joho remembered Hatimy as a dedicated father, devoted husband, dependable friend and a true patriot.
“In Mohamed Hatimy, I have lost a brother and a treasured friend. On behalf of the people of Mombasa and my own behalf, I extend my sincere and heartfelt condolences to his family.”