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MPs say Omar not sincere over Joho graft accusations as row rages

The row between Mombasa Senator Hassan Omar and Governor Hassan Joho deepened Sunday during an Idd Baraza held at Treasury Square in Mombasa after MPs allied to the governor accused the senator of insincerity.

MPs Rashid Bedzimba (Kisauni), Omar Mwinyi (Changamwe MP) and Mombasa Woman Representative Mishi Mboko accused Omar and Nyali MP Hezron Awiti of undermining Joho's administration and vowed to organise rallies 'to teach them a lesson'.

Ms Mboko dismissed Mr Omar's graft claims, adding that no money had been lost.

"We do not want leaders who divide us. If one wants to fight corruption in the county, let him be sincere," Mboko said.

Mboko, a vocal defender of the governor, told those opposed to Joho's leadership to wait until 2017 to vie for the seat.

The MP said leaders should concentrate on development and allow Joho to deliver on his mandate to the electorate.

Mr Mwinyi warned the senator against dividing Mombasa leaders and called for a meeting to resolve the stand-off.

"As a Mombasa leader, I will ask the senator to stop rushing to the Press over things which we can resolve. But he is still a young man and I know his problem. Just leave it to me," said Mwinyi.

The row erupted on Tuesday last week after the senator claimed that over Sh496 million revenue collected by the county had not been accounted for, and also accused the Mombasa County Assembly of failing in its oversight role.

"I want an explanation as to why Sh496 million was not taken to the bank. We would want to know where that money is," the senator said in an unprecedented attack on Joho's government.

Omar hinted that the Senate will summon Joho to shade more light on the said money.

But Joho's allies see an ulterior motive on the senator's claims.

Wage war

"We know that there are some wealthy people who are using the senator to wage a war against our governor. But we tell him that he is our son and grandson and should go slow," said Changamwe MP Omar Mwinyi.

Bedzimba described leaders opposing Joho as 'flies', who cannot distract him from his development agenda.

He said the leaders close to the governor would soon organise a political rally to denounce Senator Omar and Bollo, who has declared interest in Mombasa gubernatorial seat come 2017.

Bollo has been accusing Joho's government of not being inclusive and also claims that non-residents have been marginalised in appointments and tenders in the county government.

But Joho has in the past dismissed the claims and paraded his Cabinet to prove that his government was inclusive and does not discriminate against any residents.

Sunday, Joho steered clear of the debate and instead concentrated on security issues, especially the ongoing police raids to arrest members of a gang that has been attacking residents of Old Town and Kisauni.

"I know there are some youths have been behind the attacks, but are being protected by their parents, who claims that they ventured into crime because they were jobless," said Joho.

He also hit out at the Judiciary for releasing suspects accused of serious crimes like murder, who continue terrorising residents.