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Shots fired as chaos mars Raila's rally in Mombasa

By Willis Oketch - May 15th 2022
Azimio la Umoja supporters at Mkomani ground in Mombasa. [Omondi Onyango,Standard]

Gun shots filled the air as the ugly sibling rivalry in the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Alliance in Mombasa played out yesterday before ODM leader Raila Odinga at a rally in Mkomani in Nyali yesterday.

This is after former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko stormed the rally minutes after Raila and other leaders had arrived. Mr Sonko is vying for the Mombasa governor seat on a Wiper ticket.

But Sonko’s effort to approach the podium was halted by rowdy youths who stoned his car forcing him to flee. One person was reportedly injured after he was knocked by the speeding vehicle.

It was not clear who shot in the air as Sonko’s car was being blocked from accessing the venue. Two women were injured in a stampede that ensued.

On Friday, ODM leaders led by Mvita MP Abdulswmad Nassir, who is also vying for governor, announced that the rally had moved from the historical Tononoka Grounds to Mkomani in what was seen as a move to avert chaos.

Raila stayed clear of the chaos and the seemingly heightened rivalry between supporters of Sonko and Nassir.

He hit out at Deputy President William Ruto over his promise to revert shipping and logistics services from Nairobi and Naivasha to Mombasa. 

In an agreement signed between Ruto and Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi, the DP committed to revoke most of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s directives on port services within 100 days.

Raila said Ruto is trying to hoodwink voters in the region and that he should shoulder the blame for the problems bedeviling them.

Raila said the high cost of Standard Gauge Railway (SGR), which was built during the Jubilee era, is one of the reasons why the Government was forced to introduce policy forcing the importers to use SGR to Nairobi and Naivasha.

“Some Jubilee leaders inflated the cost of the construction of SGR which was higher than what we had planned with the late President Mwai Kibaki. We know they inflated the figure to steal what was on top of what we had planned to use in the construction the railway,” said Raila.

The former Prime Minister accused an unnamed Jubilee politician of inflating the cost of constructing SGR, which has made it difficult to repay the loan.

Raila, however, said when he is elected he will seal the loopholes used to siphon public funds.

Raila promised to bring Chiense investors to set up factories a special economic zone to be started at Dongo Kundu to ensure goods currently being imported are available locally.

Addressing the rally, Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu chided Sonko for showing disrespect to Raila  by storming his rally.

“Shame on Sonko, he should take such behaviour to other people but not Raila Odinga who is a respected leader in the country,” said Ngilu.

Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua and Muranga Women Rep Sabina Chege assured Raila that they will not complain if they are not picked as running mate.

“I will not grumble if you do not choose me as a running mate,” said Karua.

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