Mohammed Mdigo: Man on the cusp of 'inheriting' second seat

The late Rabai MP, William Kamoti's brother, Mohamed Mdigo [2nd right] is cleared by IEBC officials to contest the seat of MP in Rabai constituency. [Omondi Onyango,Standard]

It is sad to lose a brother in a road accident. But for Mr Mohamed Mdigo, the death of his elder brother, Rabai MP William Kamoti on May 29, can aptly be described as a ‘second shot’ to life.  

In 2002, Mr Mdigo’s uncle, Mr Patrick Kamoti died weeks after his win in the Mugumo Wa Pasa ward in the then larger Kaloleni constituency. Mwamkale clan chose Mdigo to contest in that by-election.

In his first interview since the demise of his brother, Mr Mdigo, said he won the seat and went ahead to be elected chair of the defunct Mariakani Town Council. He served until 2007.

And last week, after the death and burial of his elder brother, members of the Mwamkale clan met to discuss who was the best candidate to replace Kamoti in the August 9 contest. They chose Mr Mdigo.

Mr Mdigo, who has since secured the ODM ticket for the Rabai MP race in the August 9 election, told The Standard that he was not ‘any other political greenhorn’ out to reap from hereditary politics.

He described himself as a veteran politician, who shelved his political ambitions to pave way for his elder brother because “our people could not elect two brothers to represent them.” 

“I won the 2002 by-election after my uncle died and went on to be elected the chair of the defunct Mariakani Town Council. I’ve been in the political cold after I lost in the 2007 election,” he said.

Mr Mdigo’s entry into politics in 2002 appears to be almost similar to his return this year. But he says the decision to make a comeback was both emotional and difficult for him and the family. 

After a successive political debut in 2002, Mr Mdigo lost the civic seat in 2007.

“I had an accident in the run-up to the 2013 election that affected my campaigns and I lost. In 2007, Kamoti also lost in the Kaloleni MP seat,” he said. After these double losses, sometime before the 2013 polls, Mwamkale clan met to discuss and refine a new strategy that could enable them to win and retain political power.

It is at this point that Mr Mdigo decided to end his political career so that he could support his late elder brother. In 2013, the late Kamoti clinched the Rabai MP seat that had been curved from Kaloleni. 

“I decided to venture into small businesses and support Kamoti to implement his development agenda through the Constituency Development Fund (CDF),” said Mr Mdigo.

Mr Mdigo says he was the head of the team that propelled his late uncle and late brother to political stardom, and that is why the Mwamkale clan chose him to run for the Rabai seat.

“One cannot be happy that he is inheriting his dead brother’s seat. The family has invested a lot in this campaign and it is only fair that we take over to continue with Kamoti’s agenda,” said Mr Mdigo.

 Yesterday, ODM Kilifi branch chairman Teddy Mwambire, who is also the Ganze MP, said the ODM party settled on Mr Mdigo after consultation with the family.

“Mr Mdigo is a veteran politician who served as councillor and chairman of the defunct Mariakani town council,” said Mr Mwambire.

He said since 2013, Mr Mdigo has been the face of his late brother’s campaigns and development agenda in Rabai constituency. 

The late Kamoti, who was serving his second term, was a renowned lawyer who won the Rabai MP seat in 2013 when the constituency was hived off from the larger Kaloleni Constituency.

He was elected in 2013 and reelected in 2017 on an ODM ticket.

On May 29, Kamoti died in a road accident along the Malindi- Mombasa highway moments after he had been cleared by IEBC to defend his seat on the ODM in the August 9 polls. Mr Mdigo said he will prioritsze his late brother’s agenda like education, supply of water and training the youth.