Omar accuses Nassir of being held hostage by external forces

East African Legislative Assembly MP Hassan Omar. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

East African Legislative Assembly MP Hassan Omar has claimed that Mombasa Governor Abdulswamad Nassir was being held hostage by forces that controlled his predecessor Hassan Joho.

Omar slammed Nassir over his recent decision to block philanthropist and the proprietor of Mombasa Cement Hasmukh Patel from helping the needy particularly clearance of medical bills.

The Eala MP who was accompanied by UDA Nominated Senator Miraj Abdillahi was speaking during the launch of the Voice of Mombasa movement steered by the United Democratic Alliance (UDA). The voice of the Mombasa movement will enlighten the public on development.

"You cannot stop people from philanthropic work. Hasmukh should continue paying bills for the needy," he said.

He was referring to a recent standoff between the county government and the philanthropist known to pay medical bills, school fees and feeding residents of Mombasa and Kilifi counties for more than five years.

Omar accused Nassir of being insincere saying Coast residents have been dependent on Patel's aid.

The Eala MP claimed that Nassir would be a one-term governor as UDA was making in-roads in the Coast region which is perceived as an ODM stronghold.

He said Coast has benefited from government appointments because of the good relationship with the Kenya Kwanza administration.

Omar defended the government housing plan saying it would create wealth and job opportunities for youths.

"We are going to ensure that the 30 per cent procurement business reserved for local youths, women and disabled is implemented by all parastatals based in the Coast region," he said.

He also assured the youths that they would benefit from the Sh60 billion Dongo Kundu special economic zone.

The Eala MP said the Kenya Kwanza government has no plans to privatize the port of Mombasa but wants to promote Public-Private Partnerships to expand the facility.

Ms Abdillahi expressed optimism that the Housing Fund will help the government to provide descent houses for Kenyans from poor backgrounds.

She explained that the three per cent housing levy was an investment and appealed to workers to embrace it.

"I am urging Kenyans to save through the Housing Fund to minimize government borrowing from outside," she said.

The Nominated senator dismissed claims that the housing levy was tax saying the money can be redeemed with interest after seven years.

Abdillahi urged the government to speed up the resettlement of squatters programme to address historical land injustices at the Coast.

Omar said Kenya Kwanza has a clear development agenda for the country and urged Kenyans to support affordable housing programme.