By The COAST Reporter
Many coast residents know Mombasa Cement firm more for its extensive multibillion philanthropy rather than for its being a lead manufacturer of cement in Kenya.
This week, however, the firm’s officials are busy on a task of a different kind.
And that is fighting off claims that they are allegedly meddling with political fights of individual aspirants for elective posts.
Mr Imtiaz Sayani, the director of the firm’s philanthropy programs, says whereas they are not averse to supporting candidates, they don’t and would not engage in opposing or undermining any rival of their preferred aspirant(s), as claimed.
The firm has recently been associated with supporting UDA campaigns and the party aspirants.
Mr Sayani issued the statement on behalf of Mr Hasu Patel, the owner of the Cement firm.
Mr Sayani said the political linkages being peddled are “malicious gossip” and challenged those issuing the claims to substantiate.
“We are not opposing other political opponents of the Deputy president or of any other candidate,” he said.
“We are not in politics. Nobody should link us with UDA, ODM or Azimio. We do not participate in politics. Our operations are geared towards helping the needy,” added Mr Imtiaz, who is mostly involved feeding and beautification programs by the firm.
Sayani was addressing journalists while inspecting the Mombasa Cement beautification project at the Tudor Miracle Park, one of the beautification projects supported by the firm..
Speculation has been rife in Mombasa that the cement firm’s and those of UDA march in many ways.
However, Sayani laughed this off saying Mombasa Cement colours predate those of UDA by many years.
Employees join UDA
Another interesting twist to the speculation is that two of the firm’s employees are contesting political seats in Mombasa through the UDA ticket.
Mohamed Amir, an employee of the firm and a step brother to Governor Hassan Joho, is eying the Mombasa senator seat on a UDA ticket.
Another employee, Samir Baloo, is alo contesting the Tudor MCA seat on a UDA ticket.
“The decision to vie for any political seat is a personal decision and we have no right to tell anyone whether to vie and on what ticket,” said Sayani.
“This is a personal, democratic and constitutional right that everyone has. We cannot interfere with someone’s personal choices, especially when they are constitutionally entitled to them,” said Sayani.
Patel has also been linked to the candidature of Sanjeev Agarwal, an eye specialist who is eyeing the Mombasa Governor seat, also on a UDA ticket.
Sayani said: “Our focus is on the needy people in Mombasa and Kilifi counties. We help them settle medical bills, give them food and transport for those who have lost their loved ones and would like to take the bodies upcountry.”