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June 25, 2018

Weak Wiper mulls losses as key stalwarts abandon ship

Former Mombasa Senator Hassan Omar during a press conference at his office in Kizingo, Momba- sa, on Monday / JOHN CHESOLI
Former Mombasa Senator Hassan Omar during a press conference at his office in Kizingo, Momba- sa, on Monday / JOHN CHESOLI

What next for Wiper in Mombasa County? This is a question lingering in the minds of many voters in the region.

The party, which had two MPs and a senator in the 2013 General Election, now has only a single MP and one MCA after the August 8 General Election.

Ali Mbogo, the Kisauni MP, is the only Wiper legislator.

In 2013, Badi Twalib (Jomvu MP), Hezron Awiti (former Nyali MP) and Hassan Omar (Mombasa Senator) were elected on the Wiper ticket.

The three held key leadership positions in the party. Awiti was the treasurer, Twalib was the organising secretary, and Omar as the secretary general.

Wiper was seen as the second most popular party after ODM. The orange party won four MPs’ seats, the womam rep position and the governor’s seat.

However, in the run-up to the August election wrangles emerged in Wiper, threatening its existence.

Awiti and Twalib were the first to ditch the party.

Awiti formed the Vibrant Democratic Party and vied for the Mombasa governor seat. He finished a distant fourth with only 4,000 votes.

Twalib decamped to ODM party and retained his Jomvu seat.

Omar vied for Mombasa governor on the Wiper ticket, but finished third with slightly over 44,000 votes. Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho retained the seat with over 221,000 votes. Jubilee’s Suleiman Shahbal was second with over 69,000 votes.

Last week, Omar resigned as secretary general. He is yet to declare his next move. However, he has filed a petition against Joho at the Mombasa High Court.

On Monday, Omar launched a scathing attack against Wiper, accusing it of being weak, meek and unfocused.

He accused party leader Kalonzo Musyoka of failing the party and not coming out strong to support his candidature in the August poll.

“Wiper leadership is weak, meek and unfocused. You don’t know whether Kalonzo is supporting me or Joho. You don’t know what he stands for,” Omar said during a press conference in his office.

His attack on Kalonzo has left many people wondering if he will support NASA presidential candidate Raila Odinga in the new poll on October 17.

Kalonzo is Raila’s running mate.

Without clear leadership in theregion, Wiper is now seen to be slowly losing ground.

Reached for comment, Mbogo said he is not ready to discuss the issue.



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