By Alfred Bambanya
The recent sudden demise of member of the Mombasa County Assembly (MCA) Mohamed Hatimy (nominated) has left Governor Hassan Joho scratching his head on who to pick for his Assembly errands.
The deceased also doubled as the County Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) chairman and governor’s point man when it comes to County Assembly (CA) business.
He was the reliable engineer of the executive agendas through his mobilisation skills that ensured favourable responses for Joho’s fiscal planning and budgets.
However, before his demise, the majority ODM wards’ representatives had begun to crack with five rebels MCAs putting the governor on his toes by opposing some of his agendas in the CA.
This internal division is threatening the collection of the one million signatures required to enable the BBI not only pass the Constitutional test but also passed by the CA making Mombasa as one of the 24 counties required for referendum.
The governors, under the ODM party, are under immense pressure to enlist the support of their MCAs and the proposed Bill is passed unanimously in their CAs so as to fathom the success of the validated BBI recommendations before heading to Parliament.
For a while Governor Joho has been facing rebellion from MCAs believed to have joined the Deputy President William Ruto’s bandwagon of ‘hustle nation’ mantra in the County.
Those in forefront are Abdalla Shebe (Jomvu Kuu), Charles Kitula (Frere town), Abrari Omar (Kongowea), Faith Mwende (Kipevu -Wiper) and Fahad Kassim (Mjambere) who have been lobbying their colleagues to shoot down most of governor’s agendas.
Through the hands of Nyali MP Mohamed Ali and former senator Hassan Omar, the MCAs declared their support to DP’s presidential ambition ahead of the 2022 general elections after paying a courtesy call at the DP’s office.
Both Ali and Omar have poked holes in the BBI report saying it required more consultations over what they termed as a document likely to create more divisions than unity of Kenyans.
While mourning Hatimy, the chairperson of the Finance and Budget committee after succumbing to Covid-19, many his colleagues within CA noted that the deceased had left a gap due to his experience, high levels of integrity and maturity in handling business at the Chambers.
“We have people who have the knowledge of handling issues in different departments, but it will take time to adjust to what Hatimy was doing,” says CA deputy speaker Fadhili Makarani.
MCA Milka Moraa (nominated) and CA majority leader Hamisi Musa described Hatimy as a knowledgeable person on devolution and ODM party matters in realpolitik.
“I have lost not only a friend and a colleague but my classmate at KCA University. He was a very important person who understood what he was doing and a very wise in his decisions,” Moraa says.
Her counterpart, Musa (Mtongwe Ward), adds the house has lost a cogwheel that drove the Chambers during crises times that required mature brain to navigate and ensure consensus was reached among members
“To his shoes will be insurmountable to say the least,” he laments adding that his party’s loyalty was unquestionable within and without the CA.
Mr Joho, while addressing mourners during his burial, described the deceased as an irreplaceable leader who talked less but did more. The governor cautioned residents against dropping the guard against Covid-19 pandemic.
“Many of us still don’t believe that Covid-19 is a reality. We still have to remind people to wear masks. Some 38 health workers at the Coast General Teaching and Referral Hospital have contracted the virus in the last one week,” he said.
In a tweet on its social media platform, ODM party mourned its chairman as a great person saying he steered it to great heights not only in the county but also beyond it in the Coast region.
“As ODM family we have lost a good man and leader. Hon Mohamed Hatimy, our Mombasa County chairman and a second term nominated MCA in the County Assembly of Mombasa is dead. We shall miss you kiongozi,” the tweet says in part.
The deceased passed on at the Mombasa Hospital on Saturday morning (about 3am) just three days after he was returned to the ICU.
According to sources in the know after he was discharged his situation remained persisted and on Saturday (November 14, 2020) he collapsed as the disease had already destroyed his lungs.
He was among seven MCAs who had tested positive for Covid-19 leading to the closure of the Mombasa County Assembly recently.