Mombasa governor Hassan Joho was humiliated during an ODM party delegates meeting in Kwale county last week when local officials openly told him off over the loss of Msambweni parliamentary seat in the recent by-election.
Sources at the meeting held at Diani Reef Hotel on December 29 2020 and presided over by ODM leader Raila Odinga say tension was high as nearly all speakers turned against Joho who sat pensively and watched as angry party officials literally tore him into pieces. ODM’s director of elections Junet Mohammed who attended the meeting also did not spare Joho as he alleged that the Mombasa governor had kept on informing him that things were okay on the ground and even discouraged him from sending a team of legislators to back him up in the campaigns for the party candidate Omar Boga.
“Every time I called Joho about the status of the campaigns, he kept on assuring me that everything was under control, and that even the opinion polls were showing that we were headed for a landslide win. So I relaxed as advised but the final results shocked me,” said Junet. Boga was floored by independent candidate Feisal Bader by 5000 votes. Former Matuga MP and Kwale ODM county chairman Hassan Mwanyoha accused Joho of having sidelined local party officials in the campaigns. He said Joho decided to surround himself with brokers and business people from Mombasa at the expense of structured local party machinery who understand the political dynamics on the ground.
“Joho for reasons known to himself, did not want to involve local party machinery in the campaigns. We were kept in the dark and even when the ship started to sink, we could do nothing to salvage it as our advice was seemingly unwanted and Joho had chosen to ignore our calls,” said Mwanyoha amid cheers. A one Nyakiti, a local businessman said even though he is a staunch ODM supporter, the party erred by picking a wrong candidate who was a hard sale. “We told the party from the beginning that Boga, due to his pride and arrogance, could not deliver the seat but nobody wanted to listen for fear of antagonising Joho.
So, in spite of efforts we made to market him, it backfired,” he said. Nicholas Zani who was allegedly rigged out in favour of Boga in controversial party nominations said the campaigns were bungled and party officials sidelined for selfish reasons. “Even as a contestant who lost in the nominations, nobody bothered to reach out to me for support yet as a vice chairman of the party in the county, I had a huge following of supporters who had asked me to contest for the seat whom I could have persuaded to support Boga.
These are some of the votes we are told went to Feisal,” Zani pointed out. Kwale senator Issa Boy and women rep Zuleikha Hassan were accused of being puppets of Joho who knew things were not favourable to the ODM candidate but were reluctant to reveal the truth for fear of losing campaign allowances. On his part, a humbled Joho apologised and said nobody was perfect. He owned up to the accusations and promised to do better next time.
Raila who had opened the meeting by asking the party delegates to speak freely on the reasons why the party lost the Msambweni seat to the William Ruto backed candidate urged for unity in the branch ahead of BBI campaigns. After the meeting, Raila retreated back to Watamu, Kilifi county where he put up for the December holidays.