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March 22, 2018

Joho support for Uhuru, Raila deal was clear, Coast analyst explains

President Uhuru Kenyatta, Mombasa governor Hassan Joho and other leaders during the launch of Port Reitz / Moi International Airport Access road at Changamwe Mombasa on January 9,2016. Photo file
President Uhuru Kenyatta, Mombasa governor Hassan Joho and other leaders during the launch of Port Reitz / Moi International Airport Access road at Changamwe Mombasa on January 9,2016. Photo file

Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho’s support for the truce called by President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition Chief Raila Odinga was clear, a political analyst has said.

Last week, Uhuru and Raila agreed to work together to unite the nation in a development that promises to radically alter the country’s political landscape. Joho has supported the two leaders’ calls for unity and reconciliation.

Joho has been a fierce critic of Uhuru and Deputy President William Ruto. Jubilee supporters accuse Joho of demeaning the presidency.

Initially, Joho called Uhuru "mtu mdogo sana" (a very small person) before he accused the government of taking credit for donor-funded projects. At the time, police blocked the governor from gatecrashing into Uhuru’s function in Mombasa.

Uhuru used the opportunity to attack Joho, asking the governor to stop following him around.

"Mimi sio bibi yake (I’m not his wife)," Uhuru said.

Joho called Ruto "a thief." In retaliation, Ruto called Joho "an academic dwarf, who cannot comprehend complex port matters." He asked Joho to "go back to school."

The attacks happened before last year’s August election. Joho has since slowed down his attacks on the government.

On Saturday, Joho said he will support Uhuru and Raila’s decision to work together.

"I wish to express my support for my party leader Raila Odinga in his efforts towards unity, peace and justice in Kenya," Joho said in a statement.

Coast-based political analyst Philip Mbaji said Joho was bound to support the move because he cannot oppose Raila since he is a creation of the former Prime Minister.

"He [Joho] cannot go against Raila. He was attacking Jubilee because Raila was also attacking Jubilee. Once Raila decides to support Uhuru, Joho has no option but to support the decision of his boss," Mbaji said.


Speaking to the Star in Mombasa yesterday, Mbaji said Joho cannot make it politically on his own, despite bragging he is the Coast’s political kingpin. "He needs Raila. You will not see Joho attacking Uhuru or Ruto anymore," Mbaji said.

Joho has asked other NASA leaders to support Uhuru and Raila.

Raila’s NASA co-principals Kalonzo Musyoka, Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wentangula have said they were not privy to the meeting between Uhuru and Raila.

"To our coalition partners, there’s a time for peace and a time for war. This is the time for peace. Not all of us may have fought in the times of war, but all of us must fight for peace. The time for war has come and gone," Joho said in a complete departure from his combative nature towards Jubilee.

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