By The COAST Correspondent
The battle for Mombasa gubernatorial post has proven to provide a tough political duel come 2022 as key candidates continue to get endorsements from outgoing Governor Hassan Joho’s close allies.
Joho’s close ally and political advisor Rashid Bedzimba is the latest to endorse Mombasa businessman Suleiman Shahbal’s bid to succeed governor Joho in the oncoming 2022 gubernatorial elections.
This is a boost for Shahbal’s campaign as he looks to create a powerful team that will help him clinch the seat in 2022. Bedzimba, a former Kisauni MP, has a significant following in the constituency.
Mombasa businessman Suleiman Shahbal has become the first politician to declare his intention to succeed Mombasa governor Hassan Joho.
Others likely to be eying the Governor seat in 2022 include Mvita MP Abdullswamad Nassir, former Senator Hassan Omar, former county secretary Francis Thoya, and Deputy Governor William Kingi.
Kisauni constituency is the largest and most populated constituency in Mombasa, with an estimated 285,000 people and seven wards, the most in a single constituency in Mombasa.
POSITIVE FOR SHAHBAL
It had 126,151 registered voters in the 2017 general elections, according to IEBC records. Bedzimba said the signs are positive for Shahbal.
“I have seen many. But I assure you, my brother Shahbal, of those who go around seeking the seat you are seeking, you are ahead of them,” said Bedzimba. Mvita Mp Abdullswamad Nassir, also a close ally of governor Joho will likely contest the seat on ODM ticket if he wins the nomination slot.
He spoke at the Sheikh Zayed Hall in Bombolulu where he and Shahbal met grass roots leaders drawn from three Kisauni wards of Junda, Mjambere and Magogoni, which have a combined 61,209 registered voters.
According to people close to Shahbal, the two leaders started serious partnership talks around July and have since had several meetings to come up with strategies. The plan is to have Bedzimba’s influence in Kisauni work in Shahbal’s favour.
The two have created a working relationship with Bedzimba looking the most likely to capture the Kisauni MP seat.
So far, no serious challenger has emerged to challenge Bedzimba for the MP seat and observers say with the influence he has, he is most likely to be the next Kisauni MP should Mbogo go for the governor seat.
Shahbal said Kisauni represents Mombasa due to its diversity. “The problems in Kisauni are the problems in the whole of Mombasa,” said Shahbal.
He said insecurity has been the biggest problem in Kisauni, with joblessness resulting in a frustrated youth population which turns into crime to earn a living.
“Many youths try hard to get jobs and end up being frustrated. The problem comes from leadership. It is the duty of the leadership to ensure there are job opportunities,” said Shahbal.