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Two governor aspirants finally get running mates

ODM leader Raila Odinga in a jig with Mombasa Governor Candidate Abdulswamad Shariff Nassir (centre) and Prof. Hamadi Boga (right) during the issuing of ODM nomination certificates to Coast candidates in Mombasa County on Tuesday, April 19, 2022. [Kelvin Karani, Standard]

Two ODM governor aspirants at the Coast have changed their running mates at the eleventh hour after facing major hitches.

Kwale ODM nominee Hamadi Boga replaced Principal Secretary Safina Kwekwe with former Chief Officer Nurein Mwatsahu after it emerged that Kwekwe did not resign in February.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission set February 9 as the deadline for public officers seeking elective posts to resign.

Mwatsahu said yesterday he was happy to land the running mate position after he shelved his bid for governorship. 

Boga’s allies were thrown into panic on Monday after it became clear Kwekwe would not be cleared. 

Boga and Kwekwe have been campaigning under the banner BogaSafi.

“I am happy to be named running mate and I promise to work hard to ensure our vision of empowering Kwale people is realised. We want to improve the economic well-being, food security, water and health among other areas,” Mwatsahu said.

In Tana River, Governor Dhadho Godhana who is defending his seat on an ODM ticket has picked former primary school teacher Mahad Loka as his running mate after Education Executive Abbas Kunyo turned down the offer at the last minute.

Loka who comes from the minority Munyoyaya community saved the situation for the governor who has been at loggerheads with his deputy Salim Butuyu for the past four years.

Former Tana River Governor Hussein Dado has settled for former Garsen MP Ibrahim Sane as his running mate.

Dado who is running on a UDA ticket picked Sane who comes from the minority Wardei community.

In Taita Taveta, ODM aspirant Thomas Mwakwida unveiled Hope Mwanyuma as his running mate.

Mwanyuma who was unveiled at a Voi hotel is a project management specialist and a social justice activist.

The former Murray Girls student holds a degree in environmental studies and community development from Kenyatta University.

The youthful running mate said she has over six years’ experience initiating, coordinating and managing projects that focused on promoting girl child education, youth and women empowerment and human rights education.

“Ms Hope is a visionary young woman from Mbololo in Voi Sub-County. Her dreams, commitment, courage and perseverance has enabled her to beat all odds to become an outstanding global leader and a social change maker in Africa,” Mwakwida said.

Ms Mwanyuma is the founder of Hope Alive Initiative, a community-based organisation championing youth education and empowerment