Big names take on opponents in decisive Coast Jubilee primaries

Taveta MP Naomi Shaban

A handful of political bigwigs at the Coast are set to fight for political survival in the Jubilee primaries.

Long-serving Taveta MP Naomi Shaban and Lamu Senator Abu Chiaba are some of the big names in the Coast who will go through the primaries.

Other bigwigs such as Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya, Tana River Governor Hussein Dado, Kilifi North MP Gideon Mung’aro and Mombasa politician Suleiman Shahbal have no challengers for the party ticket in their respective areas.

Dr Shaban will face businessman Mike Banton who has recently caused her sleepless nights.

Last week, Shaban who has been in Parliament since 2002, announced that she had defected from Jubilee over rigging fears only to return to the party a day later.

He opponent Mike Banton is believed to be an ally of Deputy President William Ruto.

Senator Chiaba will face off with county assembly speaker and a former Lamu East MP Mohamed Hashim.

Political giant

Mr Chiaba is a political giant in Lamu County having first gone to Parliament in 2002 after beating Mr Hashim on a Kanu ticket to become Lamu East MP.

Shaban and Chiaba are known to have the financial muscle to oil their campaign machines and also bank on experience to win the Jubilee tickets.

Mr Hashim, who once served as assistant minister for Local Government, tried to recapture the Lamu East parliamentary seat in 2013 but lost to the incumbent Shariff Athman Ali.

In Lamu West, fears of a tough political contest have unexpectedly fizzled out after key politicians went in different political directions.

The incumbent Julius Ndegwa, who was expected to fight it out with Abu Kassim Abdi and nominated MCA Monica Marubu, has ditched Jubilee for Safina while Ms Marubu is now running for county woman representative as an independent candidate.

“I cannot accept to be subjected to elections twice. I decided to join Safina and wait for August 8,” Ndegwa said.

In Mombasa County, deputy governor Hazel Katana who ditched ODM recently will battle it out with businessman Abubakar Swabir for the Jubilee senatorial ticket.

The man who will take on Ms Katana, businessman Abubakar Swabir has applauded the Jubilee Party election board for assuring aspirants that party primaries will be conducted in a free and fair atmosphere.

Ms Katana has been quietly campaigning mainly through women caucuses and other groups in the county as opposed to holding rallies.

The Mombasa woman representative seat has attracted former Mombasa county employee Margaret Kisiengo, popularly known as Ambasa, veteran politician Amina Abdalla, Elizabeth Kadzo, Miraj Abdurahman, Grace Wasai and Khadija Muhsim.

The Changamwe parliamentary seat has attracted four aspirants with the front-runner being flamboyant businessman Abdi Mohmamed who will face Kibwana Athman, Patrick Ngugi and former councillor Francis Oduor.

Smooth nominations

Omar Shallo and Mohamed “Tenge” Salim will square it out for the Mvita parliamentary seat.

Mombasa gubernatorial aspirant Suleiman Shahbal said he expects smooth nominations after meeting aspirants.

“We have talked to all aspirants and we expect the primaries to be smooth and peaceful,” Shahbal said.

In Kilifi, focus is on Malindi parliamentary seat where banker Philip Charo and Taita Taveta University lecturer Peter Mwawana are seeking the Jubilee ticket.

Mr Charo, an ally of Kilifi North MP and Jubilee gubernatorial hopeful Gideon Mung’aro, will be seeking the seat for the second time after he came second in the March 7, 2016 Malindi by-election won by Willy Mtengo.

Pwani University lecturer Chenje Mwachiro and Ken Nyale will wrestle for the senatorial ticket while nominated MCA Christine Zawadi and Amina Mnyazi will fight it out for the county woman representative ticket.

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