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Coast counties next battlefront for President Uhuru, Raila

By Benard Sanga | Published Sun, July 16th 2017 at 00:00, Updated July 15th 2017 at 21:19 GMT +3
Jubilee and Opposition National Super Alliance (NASA) will renew their rivalry over the Coast votes when their top leaders embark on campaign rallies in Kilifi and Mombasa

Jubilee and Opposition National Super Alliance (NASA) will renew their rivalry over the Coast votes when their top leaders embark on campaign rallies in Kilifi and Mombasa counties.

President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto will be in Malindi town and Mombasa, according to the DP’s spokesman David Mugonyi.

On Monday, the team will set camp in Tana River and Mpeketoni.

As the Jubilee principals invade Kilifi to rally support for their candidates, Mombasa governor Hassan Joho will lead the Opposition leaders in a rally at Mvita Grounds in Mombasa.

Unconfirmed reports indicated that Jubilee leaders intend to hold a rally at Mombasa’s Jomvu on Monday.

Whereas NASA is keen to tighten its grip on the region, Jubilee is keen to chip away a significant fraction of the registered 1.79 million votes.

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Jubilee is keen on Lamu where it traditionally holds sway but also Kwale whose Opposition governor Salim Mvurya defected to Jubilee last year.

Jubilee is also keen to take Tana River after Governor Hussein Dado Tuneya defected to Jubilee early this year.

The President coincides with renewed terror attacks blamed on Al Shabaab militants operating from expansive Boni forest.


Uhuru and his Deputy will visit as questions abound over the recent terror attacks that have caused deaths, injuries and destruction of property.

On Thursday, three people including two police officers were killed when the jihadists waylaid the vehicle carrying Public Works Principal Secretary Mariam El-Maawy.

The escalation of the insurgency has sparked fear with hundreds of families in Pandanguo being displaced or evacuated to pave way to the multi-agency security operations.

In Mombasa,  Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir accused the police of creating fears and challenged them to arrest and charge the leaders who are suspected to be financing gangs to cause chaos during campaigns.

“We are not aware that Jubilee will be holding rallies in Mombasa. We will start our peace caravan rallies here in Mvita grounds,” said Nassir.

Nassir, Rashid Bedzimba (Kisauni), Omar Mwinyi (Changamwe), Badi Twalib (Jomvu) and Mombasa County Representative Mishi Mboko said the caravan will tour all parts of the county.

Nassir said the peace caravan will preach peace which is much needed given that security agencies have identified some parts in Mombasa as insecurity hot spots.

“It is our moral obligation to make sure that Mombasa is peaceful. We want to tell all communities to remain in Mombasa and vote,” said Nassir.

The Mvita MP claimed that Jubilee was using the police and other government officials to push its “Machiavellian principals” to scare away voters from Mombasa.

Mboko who is a close ally of Joho said the governor will be part of the convoy adding that the rally will be in Mvita and then will move to Kisauni, Likoni, Changamwe and Jomvu.

Joho, who is also the ODM deputy leader has vowed to organise parallel rallies whenever Uhuru visit Mombasa after he was last time barred from attending the President’s functions at the Ferry and the launch of the Standard Gauge Railway.

Bedzimba who has been linked to gangs that operate in Kisauni dared the police to arrest him.

“Police should have evidence, arrest and charge those they say want to cause chaos and stop these scarecrows,” said Bedzimba.

Early this week, Governor Joho and his Kilifi Counterpart Amason Kingi said classification of parts of the Coast as violence hot spots was Jubilee’s scheme to suppress voter turnout.

They called on the local communities living at the Coast should remain in the region to vote in the August 8 polls and vowed to guarantee all voters their security.


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