NASA cancels Coast rallies at last minute
NASA has cancelled its planned tour of the Coast this weekend after local leaders complained they were not involved.
NASA principals Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka were set to jet into Mombasa at noon before snaking their way through Mombasa streets.
They were to make stopovers at Akamba Handicraft, Bangladesh and Tudor areas before addressing a rally at Frere Town ground in Nyali constituency.
On Sunday, the NASA principals were scheduled to address their supporters in Ukunda after stopovers at Likoni and Kombani.
However, the tour was called off late Friday night.
According to NASA Kwale coordinator Nicholas Zani, no explanation was given for the cancellation.
“I was told to inform our people about the tour. But later I was told it has been cancelled,” said Zani on phone Saturday.
His sentiments were echoed by ODM Mombasa county chair Mohamed Hatimy, who said Nairobi planned the tour and later cancelled it without explanation.
“It was Nairobi. We did not get any explanation,” said Hatimy on phone.
However, insiders told the Star Saturday many of the local leaders, especially in Kwale, complained that they were not involved in the planning.
According to a NASA source, Matuga MP Hassan Mwanyoha and his predecessor Chirau Mwakwere had asked questions why they were ambushed with the tour information.
“You know many people were not aware of this tour and had their own plans. I think the bosses saw the complaints were too much and decided to cancel,” said one of the strong NASA operatives in Mombasa.
Jubilee is set to have two meetings in Mombasa on Sunday and Monday.
Sources say the hurriedly planned NASA tour could have been an attempt to counter President Uhuru’s foray into Mombasa.
Jubilee and NASA have been countering their respective tours of the Coast region, a crucial battleground for votes.
The coast is considered a Strong NASA zone, but Jubilee has made significant inroads into the region.
On Friday, a NASA MP in Mombasa told the Star the NASA tour was too abrupt and had interfered with their weekend activities.
Zani, however, said the cancellation of tours are common in politics and people should not read too much into the matter.
“Jubilee has cancelled most of their tours at the Coast. Why is it too big a matter when NASA cancels theirs?” Zani posed.