Amason Kingi, Salim Mvurya fight to undo Hassan Joho's influence

Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]

A political supremacy battle is unfolding at the Coast as Governors Amason Kingi of Kilifi and Kwale’s Salim Mvurya seek to end their Mombasa counterpart Hassan Joho’s 10-year dominance of the region. 

The three governors will be finishing their tour of duty after the August 9 General Election.

However, they still hold a critical mandate after they were identified by Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya Alliance presidential flagbearer, Raila Odinga and his Kenya Kwanza counterpart William Ruto as their point men in the region.

Kingi and Mvurya are leading the onslaught against Joho and ODM, as they try to woo the 1.8 million voters to back Ruto.

Kingi’s Pamoja Africa Alliance (PAA) has already fielded governor candidates in Mombasa, Kwale, Kilifi and Tana River counties.

But Joho has also teamed up with his erstwhile critics, former Chief Administration Secretary Gideon Mung’aro and Taveta MP Naomi Shaban, to guard ODM’s turf from the DP’s team.

“PAA candidates have been cleared, ready to rumble,” said Kingi yesterday on social media.

But Mung’aro said Kilifi people were disappointed by Kingi’s performance, and cannot follow him to PAA.

“I have toured all wards in Kilifi and people are expressing their disappointment towards the current regime and have reassured us of their support,” said Mung’aro, who dismissed claims that Kingi and Mvurya have the capacity to wrestle Joho at the Coast. 

In Mombasa, PAA has fielded Deputy Governor William Kingi, in Kwale (Lung’anzi Mangale), Kilifi (George Kithi) and Tana River (Hassan Omar).

But the candidates are facing hostility from their United Democratic Alliance (UDA) partners, and confusion over PAA’s decision to move from Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya coalition to Kenya Kwanza alliance.

Mvurya said Kenya Kwanza has formed four teams to coordinate the DP’s campaigns in Taita Taveta, Kwale, Mombasa, Lamu, Tana River and Kilifi.

In Taita Taveta, the team is led by Woman Rep Lydia Haika as Governor Kingi leads the Kilifi team. Former Governor Issa Timamy will be in charge of Lamu and Mvurya leads Kwale and Mombasa.

“The rivalries in Kenya Kwanza Alliance in the Coast are not as bad as portrayed. We have engaged parties and although it is a work in progress we have agreed on how to move forward,” Mvurya said.

In Mombasa, which is Joho’s bastion, former Mombasa Senator Hassan Omar has also set up teams of volunteers doing door-to-door campaigns in all the six sub-counties.

He deployed his running mate Selina Maitha to campaign in Kisauni while he concentrates in Likoni and Mvita.

Yesterday, Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya Alliance Coast Coordinator, Maj (Rtd) Mohamed Idriss, said Kingi and Mvurya have not been able to mount any serious challenge against Joho.

“Joho has also teamed up with Dr Shaban, Mung’aro and Samboja. Mvurya and Kingi do not have any following that can scare our team,” said Idriss, adding that for years Kingi and Mvurya have felt threatened by Joho’s influence at the Coast.

He said Kingi’s biggest war was within Kenya Kwanza where Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa and her Kilifi North counterpart Owen Baya are reported to have rejected his claim to Kenya Kwanza’s leadership at the Coast.

“The political battle between Joho and the two governors is not the traditional Mijikenda verses Mombasa politicians. This has been a fallacy advanced by those out to divide the Coast,” said Idriss. 

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