By Mwakwaya Raymond Mwakwaya
The elections board on Friday cleared four more candidates making the number of those eying the Mombasa top seat to six.
First to be cleared was the Jubilee team under the stewardship of Suleiman Shahbal and Annania Mwaboza as his running mate.
Shahbal’s clearance which had been slotted for 11.00am had to be delayed for an hour after Mwaboza went missing at the eleventh hour.
Panic and anxiety engulfed the group when everyone could not tell the whereabouts of Mwaboza as the deadline for the Team Jubilee to present their papers approached.
“We were together all the way from the hall where we had converged before taking off to this place only to disappear meters before we got here” one of the close Jubilee insiders said.
Several people tried to reach Mwaboza over the phone in vain. No one had any clue or information as to how and why Mwaboza was acting so.
“This is not only an embarrassment to the Mijikenda community but to the party leader Uhuru Kenyatta as well” Nyonga Makemba the Mijikenda Youth Chairman said.
Frantic efforts were made to replace him with another running mate before his lawyer appeared with all his credentials saying Mwaboza had fallen ill.
It was evident that Shahbal was not comfortable with the situation for he could be evidently seen to be sweating profusely.
A press conference to brief the media on the situation so as to avoid speculations was cancelled with no apparent reason given.
Mwaboza later appeared at exactly 12.noon walking alone casually with no bodyguard nor a personal assistant alongside with him.
“I told you ‘Mheshimiwa’ that I was not feeling well but you insisted that we walk, things got worse and I had to rush to the hospital for medical attention” Mwaboza told Shahbal as they shake hands in disbelief.
The team which had already been rescheduled for 2.00pm then rushed in for the clearance as earlier planned.
At 2.00pm the United Democratic candidate Anthony Chitavi walked in with his running mate Mufaume Bakar, were later cleared within a very short time.
Unlike other contenders Chitavi did not have a convoy of cars or a bad wagon of supporters and well wishers but was accompanied by his proposer Eddie Botany and seconder Lucky Sirya popularly known as Lucky Balaa.
Chitavi could severally be seen making very crucial calls maybe to the party leader and flag bearer Cyrus Jirongo before taking off with the other guys to town where he was said to be meeting with undisclosed people.
He did not address the media either as like what the all other contenders did.
Next was the Wipper candidate Hassan Ali Hassan who was booked for 4.00pm, as usual he had a full fun fare of supporters and a convoy of un branded vehicles unlike the Jubilee and ODM teams where it was needless to substantiate the obvious branded to the later.
Moments before 5.00pm came in the KADU Asili candidate Daniel Munga Kitsao formerly a Coast Development Authority officer accompanied by his running mate Said Mwakama and a handful of supporters.
He casually walked into the clearance room before walking out with his certificate ready to face the other five contenders.
Addressing the media Munga said he was approached by Mijikenda elders to take up the task so as to reclaim the dignity of the locals and he had no option but to heed their call.
He said would ensure the Tourism sector is revived so as to enable locals earn their living.
On his part Hassan said he would mount an issue based campaign that his opponents will never manage to beat him at any cost.
“This is extremely an easy race because am campaigning against someone who has failed to deal with the garbage so there is nothing to worry about” Hassan said as he addressed his supporters outside The school of Government formerly GTI.
According to analysts Mombasa race is likely to be hotter than it was expected to be. They say this time round not the Mijikenda vote nor the Religion factor will add any value to any of the contestants.
They argued that all the candidates will get a share of the Mijikenda community vote putting in mind that Ali Hassan Joho’s running mate Dr William Kingi is a Giryiama, Suleiman Shahbal is deputized by Annania Mwaboza a Chonyi while Hassan Ali Hassan fronting Lynda Mwashumbe who is said to be a half cast of a Giryiama and a Taita.
Both the UDP and KADU Asili teams are all Mijikendas; Anthony Chitavi / Bakar Mfaume and Daniel Munga Kitsao / Said Mwakama respectively are all from the Mijekenda communities.
The Vibrant team which is fronting Hezron Awiti for the gubernatorial seat also has Ibrahim Kai a Chonyi as the running mate
Analysts feel that over 300,000 Mijikenda votes will be spitted to no one’s advantage.
Looking at the Religion factor Joho, Shahbal and Hassan will all scramble for the Muslim vote without any meaningful gain while Chitavi, Daniel and Awiti going head on for the Christians cup.
Awiti is said to enjoy an upper hand as it is known that his tribesmen told ‘Baba’ point blank that they would vote for him for the Presidency position but he should as well allow them to make their own choices at the County level.
It’s not clear whether the Kamba’s in Mombasa will go by Hassan in the Wipper party or they will join Joho where most of their point men were recently nominated through the ODM party.
Just a week ago Joho hosted over 1,000 delegates from the Kamba Community at the Mombasa Women Association Hall where he pleaded with them to support his candidature.
Joho is also said to have successfully managed to bring together Junior Wambua an MCA candidate strong supporter of Charity Ngilu and Mwova Mwenda supporter of the Mwai Kibaki’s DP party who have been at loggerheads for years.
Hassan stated it categorically that if Wipper supports the candidature of Nairobi governor Evans Kidero the ODM should reciprocate in Mombasa by supporting him through the Wipper party.
This is still food for thought for many given the fact that Joho has become a darling of Baba leave alone being a deputy party leader for the ODM party.