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March 18, 2018

Somalis in Mombasa to field governor candidate in 2022

Mombasa Somali community chairman Mohamed Huri during an interview at Surfside Villa Resort yesterday /ERNEST CORNEL
Mombasa Somali community chairman Mohamed Huri during an interview at Surfside Villa Resort yesterday /ERNEST CORNEL

The Somali community in Mombasa is preparing to front a governor candidate in 2022 who will “protect the President’s legacy”.

They have formed a committee to look for a potential candidate. This will be the first time the community fields a candidate in a Mijikenda-majority county.

The committee, which has so far held three meetings, is chaired by the community’s head Mohamed Huri. Huri yesterday told the Star the candidate will run on the Jubilee ticket to “jealously guard what President Uhuru Kenyatta has and intends to do”.

The community said the government’s projects may be rundown if an opposition candidate takes over from Governor Hassan Joho. Joho feuds with Uhuru and the county is pro-opposition.

The Jubilee administration has invested billions of shillings in infrastructure, leading to confrontation between the presidency and Joho. At one point Joho asked Uhuru to point out the projects he has initiated in Mombasa and accused him of taking credit for projects he did not initiate.

Huri said the committee’s decision will be final. “We are strategising so that, come D-day, we are more than united and able to win the seat as well as marshal more votes for Deputy President William Ruto,” he said. 

Somalis number about 50,000, and Huri said they may have to form alliances to get to the top. The Somali community control the Mombasa economy and most businesses are owned by Somalis. 

Huri said Uhuru faced many hurdles in his first term because “Joho was not cooperative”. “His cold reception and constant attacks strained their working relationship. With a better environment brought about by a friendly governor, Jubilee will massively deliver in the county,” he said. 

County assembly speaker Aharub Kharti, MPs Abdulswamad Nassir (Mvita), Badi Twalib (Jomvu) and Ali Mbogo (Kisauni) are some of the notable figures lining up to succeed Joho.

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