Process of party primaries to determine races in Mombasa


Nyali MP Mohamed Ali. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

The fight for the six parliamentary seats in Mombasa County is shaping up as either a rematch of the last election or a clash of siblings in ODM leader Raila Odinga's Azimio la Umoja movement.

In Nyali, area MP Mohamed Ali is once again expected to face Saidi Abdalla, alias Saido, of ODM. 

Ali, who braved a strong ODM wave at the Coast to clinch the seat in the 2017, is expected to contest on the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) ticket, the party Deputy President William Ruto is expected to use to seek the presidency on August 9.

In the 2017 General Election, Ali, who ran as an independent candidate, won the seat by 26,798 votes against ODM's Abdalla who garnered 16, 473 votes.

Jubilee’s Bayusuf Ashraf got 10,121 votes.

All the five MCAs in Nyali were elected on the ODM ticket in 2017.

Parliamentary aspirants in Nyali, Kisauni, Changamwe, Likoni, Jomvu and Mvita constituencies are also banking on the popularity of the party and those contesting for the governor's seat.

Abubakar Yusuf, a Mombasa-based lawyer and political analyst, says the battle for the various Mombasa seats will be won at the nomination stage, especially if Azimio la Umoja conducts joint nominations that are credible.

He said unfair nominations are likely to lead to a fallout in Azimio and eventually dent the coalition's chances of winning many seats in the region.

"In Mombasa, ODM is the party to watch. The party already has credible candidates for the position of governor. If nominations will be credible, then whoever wins the ticket will have an advantage over rivals," said Yusuf.

In Kisauni, current MP Ali Mbogo, who won on the Wiper ticket in 2017, will not be defending it after declaring interest in the governorship.

"I will not interfere in my succession," he said on Tuesday. He dismissed those who have so far shown interest in the seat saying none is a serious candidate.

Mbogo said he will be impartial and allow voters in the six constituencies to elect candidates of their choice even as he concentrates on his efforts to succeed Joho.

"I don't want to be accused of imposing candidates on our people. I fear that appearing to favour some candidates could work against my bid to be the governor," said Mbogo.

Rashid Benziba, the former Kisauni MP who once served as Joho’s political advisor, said he will be seeking to recapture the seat on the ODM ticket.

"Voters will judge Mbogo based on what he did in Kisauni as MP. I’m vying for the seat and I'll seek to continue with his development agenda because if I don’t people will suffer,” said Benziba who is an ally of Mombasa governorship aspirant Suleiman Shahbal.

Shahbal, a banker and businessman, is expected to face off with Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir for the ODM ticket.

Benzimba, who was Mjambere ward councillor prior to winning the Kisauni parliamentary seat, is expected to face Mombasa-based lawyer Mbarak Hamid Mbarak and Beatrice Gambo in the ODM nominations.

Both Mbarak and Gambo are in Nassir's camp.

But Ali’s victory in Nyali was a subject of vicious court battles after he was accused of using Raila’s portraits and the ODM colours even though he was an independent candidate.

The then Mombasa High Court judge Lydia Achode  upheld Ali’s win as she dismissed Abdalla's petition. The judge also slapped him with a Sh7 million bill as the cost of the election petition.

On Tuesday, Ali’s political advisor and Nyali National Government Constituencies Development Fund manager Mwalimu Mwanyumba said voters in the constituency will not vote along the party lines.

“In 2013, Awiti Bolo won in Nyali on a Wiper ticket despite the ODM wave. Ali won in 2017 despite the same wave. He will win again, especially because of his development record,” he said.

However, Abadalla was confident he will carry the day when he said: "I will beat him in the rematch. Nyali is an ODM zone. Ali will not use Raila's portrait or ODM colours the time around."

"I continued to prepare myself after the 2017 elections. I continued supporting my people, paying school fees for their children using my own money.

"In Nyali, the voters will not make the mistake they made again. He will go home early in the morning,” said Abdalla.

Others eyeing the Nyali parliamentary seat are Millicent Odhiambo of Wiper, Chrispus Waithaka, Joshua Ndere and Japheth Marine.

Nyali, which was carved out of Kisauni Constituency after the promulgation of the 2010 Constitution, has 126,151 voters, according to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission's register in 2019.

However, the number must have gone up following the subsequent voter registration exercises the commission has been carrying out across the country.

In Jomvu constituency, it will be a repeat battle between relatives of former Changamwe MP, the late Ramadhan Kajembe.

The incumbent Badi Twalib is expected to face off with his brother-in-law Abdulhakim Kajembe who has declared interest in the seat. Both are seeking the ODM ticket.

In 2013, Twalib who ran on a Wiper ticket won against his brother-in-law, the late Seif Kajembe of ODM. However, Mikindani MCA Renson Thoya of ODM has vowed to turn the tables on Twalib.

"I want to transform education in this constituency by ensuring more money is set aside for bursaries," the MCA said.

"I also want to address the problem of squatters, enhance access to clean drinking water and improve infrastructure. These are some of the challenges that have affected this constituency for many years and must now be addressed conclusively”.

Also in the race for the Jomvu parliamentary seat is Kenya National Union of Teachers branch executive secretary Dan Aloo who is eyeing the ODM ticket.

Twalib, Thoya and Oloo will have UDA national organising secretary Karisa Nzai for company.

Nzai said if he becomes MP, his priority will be addressing land challenges that have dogged residents for a long time.

He said will also give special attention to the improvement of roads and the drainage system while at the same time ensuring as many residents as possible access clean drinking water.

“UDA has made in-roads in Jomvu where I have managed to register 40,000 members, the highest in the Coast region. As a former MCA, I know the problems residents face.

"I know that over 90 per cent of them are squatters and I will ensure they get title deeds if I become MP,” Nzai said.

In Likoni, the current MP Mishi Mboko of ODM is up against a crowded field of aspirants.

Those seeking to unseat her include Bofu MCA Ahmed Salama of ODM, Hamisi Dokomo (UDA) and former Mombasa executive member for Agriculture and Fisheries, Hassan Mwamtoa. There is also Bernard Waore.

"My main aim of running for the seat is so I can uplift the standards of education, address unemployment and ensure the growth of the small and medium enterprises.

"I will push for the growth of industries and development of urban farming by initiating poultry and dairy projects,” Waore said.

In Changamwe, the incumbent Omar Mwinyi of ODM who is also an ally to Shahbal, said everything is working for him according to the plan. 

He will be facing businessmen Ezekiel Kimiza and Juma Goshi, both of ODM, as well as Ali Daibu of Jubilee in the battle for the Azimio la Umoja ticket.

Former Mombasa CEC Munyoki Kyallo is contesting on the Wiper ticket.

In Mvita, Nassir and Shahbal appear to have identified Soud Machele who is running on the ODM ticket.

Meanwhile, businessman Omar Shallo will square it out with Hassan Rajab Sumba for the UDA ticket, while Mohamed Samata hopes to clinch the Mvita seat on Kanu ticket.