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I won't endorse anyone, Raila tells Coast leaders

By Benard Sanga and Stanley Mwahanga | Dec 17th 2021 | 3 min read

ODM leader Raila Odinga. [Fidelis Kabunyi, Standard]

Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) will use consensus, delegates, or opinion polls to select its candidate for the Mombasa Governor seat in the 2022 election.

Yesterday, ODM leader Raila Odinga who ruled out the use of universal suffrage, said it had in the past “failed to yield desired results”, leading to defections that eventually cost the party seats.

Raila, who arrived in Mombasa on Tuesday evening, met about 50 ODM officials and influential leaders in the county yesterday at a private residence in Kizingo estate, Mombasa.

ODM Mombasa branch chairman Mohamed Khamis Hamid confirmed the meeting, saying Raila was worried about the escalating tension in the party over the nominations.

He said that Raila cited the recent by-elections like that of last December in Msambweni where the party lost its seat in what was regarded as an ODM stronghold.

“Yes, we met the party leader in Kizingo. He was very clear that the party will use consensus, delegates, or an opinion poll to select the candidates in Mombasa,” said Hamid in an interview.

He said the opinion poll will be conducted by a credible firm devoid of influence from either the aspirants or the party mandarins at the headquarters.

“We also assured him that no one will select a candidate for the people of Mombasa. We will give all the aspirants a fair chance to compete,” said Hamid, adding that the same methods could be used in other hotly contested elective seats in Mombasa.

The ODM officials said Raila was still worried over the shambolic nomination exercises witnessed in the past.

“He implored on the party supporters to accept the nomination results. The three methods will be employed in all parts of the country where the party ticket is hotly contested,” he said.

In Mombasa, Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir and banker Suleiman Shahbal have intensified the fight for the party’s ticket for the governor seat. 

Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho (left), MP Abdulswamad Nassir (centre) and businessman Suleiman Shahbal. Nassir and Shahbal are eyeing the ODM ticket. [File, Standard]

Both Raila and Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho have repeatedly stated that they will not endorse any candidate.

Mombasa Deputy Governor William Kingi is also eying the ODM ticket. Mr Hamid said Raila hinted that the same methods could be used in other parts of the country.

In Kilifi County, Devolution Chief Administrative Secretary Gideon Mung’aro and Deputy Governor Gideon Saburi are also battling for the ODM ticket.

Reports also indicate that Kenya’s High Commissioner to Tanzania Dan Kazungu who is also the former Malindi MP is also eyeing the Kilifi Governor seat through the ODM party.

In Kwale, County Assembly Speaker Sammy Ruwa, Agriculture Principal Secretary Hamadi Boga, and Kenya Ports Authority employee Lung’anzi Mangale are also battling for the ODM ticket.

After weeks of reports that Boga could defect from ODM, he met Raila in Mombasa. 

In Tana River, Governor Dhadho Godhana is expected to face former governor and current Interior Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Mr Hussein Dado.

Mr Dado won the seat in 2013 on a Wiper Democratic Party (WDP) ticket and in 2017 he switched camp to Jubilee but lost the seat to Godhana of ODM. He is now allied to Raila. 

In Taita Taveta, the battle for the ODM ticket is between the incumbent Governor Granton Samboja, who has decamped from Wiper, banker Thomas Mwakweda, and Mwatate MP Andrew Mwadima.

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