Mombasa Jubilee party supporters have accused governor Hassan Joho of sidelining them in spite of the existence of the handshake that subsequently led to Building Bridges Initiative which has neutralised political hostilities in the country.
The bad blood between Joho and the Mombasa Jubilee party followers dates back to the period leading to the last general elections when the Mombasa governor distinguished himself as one of Uhuru Kenyatta’s fiercest critics.
Uhuru and Joho openly clashed during the latter’s visits to Mombasa, hostilities between their supporters escalated. But Mombasa being an opposition zone, Jubilee members bore the brunt of intimidation and harassment from ODM party goons.
At the end of the day, ODM swept all elective seats in Mombasa with Uhuru managing 100,000 presidential votes courtesy of vigorous campaigns fronted by businessman Farid Swaleh, the party’s regional coordinator. Farid is a diehard supporter of Uhuru and he is regarded as the face of Jubilee in Mombasa politics.
But after closing of the ranks between Uhuru and ODM leader Raila Odinga, courtesy of the famous handshake, the Mombasa governor has since become one of the head of state’s close political allies in Mombasa politics edging out the president’s men and women who stood with him at the hour of need.
However, the handshake friendship was yet to be extended by Joho to Uhuru’s party supporters in Mombasa with reports that the Mombasa governor was keen to exterminate Jubilee party in Mombasa ahead of the next general elections.
Joho it is claimed, would wish that Jubilee was wiped out in the port city to deny William Ruto a foothold in the post Uhuru succession race.
Jubilee supporters on the other hand, remain unhappy with Uhuru’s dalliance with Joho, arguing that he was the most abusive and disrespectful of all the president’s opponents in the country during the last general elections.
“During the last general election campaigns, the whole country witnessed the level of disrespect that Joho showed Uhuru. And Uhuru’s supporters operated in difficult circumstances looking for votes for his re-election.
“But today, Joho has turned out to be the most important person for the president in Mombasa and was being awarded multibillion tenders as true supporters of Jubilee are left to meza mate,” lamented Omar Mohamed.
Political observers opine that in the event of a referendum, it will be difficult to lump the Jubilee members together with supporters of ODM especially at the grassroots level where the handshake has not been embraced.