In spite of the existence of a handshake between Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga, Jubilee and ODM supporters in the port city of Mombasa have not closed ranks and the intense cold war is evident even as both camps prepare for campaigns building bridges initiative referendum.
In the last general elections, Jubilee officials led by Coast coordinator Farid Swaleh braved a hostile ODM environment to campaign for Uhuru’s re-election and managed over 100,000 votes.
The political fallout from the 2017 general elections has not healed in spite of the handshake.
Jubilee supporters have not accepted to work with Governor Hassan Joho whom they view suspiciously and accuse of attempts to wipe out the ruling party from Mombasa over fears that William Ruto will inherit the support base.
“Joho is very hostile towards Jubilee supporters in Mombasa whom he sees as a political nuisance. He has not forgiven them for creating a foothold for Uhuru in the last general elections. He fears that they may shift to DP Ruto and cause him headache,” said political activist Ramadhan Omar.
Jubilee has a party office in Tudor area of Mombasa since 2017 which is being paid for by Farid at a cost of Sh150,000 per month. Sources say the owners of the building are under pressure from Governor Joho to terminate the lease.
Farid’s businesses at the port of Mombasa are also being fought in a move to weaken him financially and ‘kill’ Jubilee, it is being pointed out.
It was not immediately clear if Farid, who has relocated to United Arab Emirates, will return to lead the Jubilee Mombasa wing in referendum campaigns.
He enjoys respect among Mombasa Muslim clerics most of whom have since declared opposition to BBI.
Joho’s attempts to counter the clerics by bringing in Raila to talk to them and further deploying Sheikh Juma Ngao has backfired, putting him in an awkward position.