Attempts by Mombasa businessman Suleiman Shahbal to endear himself to Governor Hassan Joho with an eye on 2022 general elections is faced with hurdles. Sources have revealed that in spite of public display of a blossoming friendship between former political protagonists Joho and Shahbal, behind the scenes, things are different. It is said that advisers and financiers of the Mombasa governor are unhappy about Shahbal’s moves and have cautioned Joho to count them out of whatever political deal he decides to enter with Shahbal. At some point, in one heated meeting, Joho was reportedly forced to defend himself and disown Shahbal, saying his choice of successor is Likoni MP Mishi Mboko.
Those aggrieved with Shahbal’s entry into ODM and his attempts to work his way into becoming Joho’s preferred successor have dismissed him, saying he is an outsider and opponent whom they have no trust in. Among those said to be opposed to Shahbal succeeding Joho is the governor’s elder brother Abubakar Joho aka Alpha who is a powerful Mombasa ODM political actor. Politicians such as Abdulswamad Nassir (Mvita), Mboko (Likoni), Kisauni’s Ali Mbogo, Mombasa county assembly speaker Harub Khatri, deputy governor William Kingi and CS Najib Balala. They are silently fighting the Shahbal-Joho new friendship which threatens their political interests.
It is said Shahbal is a political project of one Major Idriss, a Joho political adviser who boasts of being an ODM insider. Idriss, it is said, is the one who took Shahbal to ODM leader Raila Odinga. He wants him to succeed Joho as Mombasa governor. Former Mombasa Senator, Hassan Omar, is also preparing the ground to make another attempt for the governor seat on a yet to-be-known William Ruto’s party. He is currently a political adviser in the DP’s office. He has since lost many political allies in Mombasa after he went underground after losing to Joho.