- Shahbal on Friday, dropped his bid in favour of Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir in a deal brokered by ODM leader Raila Odinga.
- His supporters said he ought to have consulted them before he made the decision not to vie.
Pressure is mounting on Mombasa businessman Suleiman Shahbal to run for Mombasa governor as an independent. https://bit.ly/3Ev9gVG
Pressure is mounting on Mombasa businessman Suleiman Shahbal to run for Mombasa governor as an independent.
Shahbal on Friday dropped his bid in favour of Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir in a deal brokered by ODM leader Raila Odinga.
However, the decision has been met with resistance from his supporters who say he is their only hope for a better Mombasa.
On Monday, his supporters said they are unhappy with his decision and feel abandoned and orphaned.
Led by Abubakar Swabir, the youth secretary general at the Shahbal secretariat, said they have not accepted his decision.
“That was his decision as Shahbal. But we as youth and the Mombasa community are not satisfied with it,” Swabir said.
In his speech on Friday, Shahbal said although he has been aspiring to be governor for 10 years, the overall objective was to bring change and development to the people.
“Mombasa is bigger than all of us and, therefore, this collective and pensive decision, as Baba puts it, is aimed at uniting Mombasa and ensuring we all put the interests of the people first," Shahbal said.
His supporters said he ought to have consulted them before he made the decision not to vie.
“We saw leadership in you for the 10 years we have been with you. We knew you are the only leader who can take Mombasa forward. Today, you have made us orphans,” Swabir said.
On Sunday, Hamisi Baya, another of Shahbal’s supporters, initiated an online petition seeking 1,000 signatures to have the career banker continue with his ambitions as an independent candidate.
By Tuesday 9am, 858 people had already signed the petition.
“We, the people of Mombasa county want change. We believe that Shahbal is the only one with the desire and ability to bring change. We need jobs and a friendly business environment,” Baya said.
“Your decision to step down for another aspirant is not welcome."
Already, Shahbal has been drafted into the Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya presidential campaign team and will head the resource mobilisation docket.
“He is already set to travel with Raila to the US on April 23,” a source close to Shahbal said.
Shahbal had mounted a formidable campaign with sources close to him saying he had a treasure chest with more than Sh1 billion.
So far, he had spent an estimated Sh300 million, according to sources.
“We don’t know exactly how much he has already spent on campaigns but it is more than Sh300 million if we are to be conservative,”the source said.
(Edited by Tabnacha O)