Monday, May 20, 2024

Political Bigwigs Who Took Low Profile After Poll Loss In Mombasa

Politics drains you physically, emotionally and financially.

It takes loads of sacrifice and courage to soldier on.

Some of the losers in last year’s general election in Mombasa have taken a low profile to either recharge or restrategise.

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Many now focus on their businesses to recover the lost time and money.

Jubilee’s candidate in the Mombasa governor race Suleiman Shahbal yesterday said he is focusing on a multibillion-shilling business in Lamu.

“This is the final push. I want to complete this project,” he said on the phone. He declined to provide details about the impending business.

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all there is, is noise

He will get back to active politics in 2020. For now, Shahbal is giving Governor Hassan Joho time to redeem himself.

“Right now all there is, is noise. The next big thing will be the presidential election. We will line up firmly behind [Deputy President] William Ruto and I will lead that campaign in Mombasa,” Shahbal said.

He lost the seat to Joho, who got 221,363 votes, against his 69,429.

Other candidates in the race were former Mombasa Senator Hassan Omar, who was third with 43,790. Former Nyali MP Hezron Awiti was fourth with about 4,000 votes.

Omar has taken a low profile after his petition against Joho’s victory was thrown out by the High Court.

He appealed the decision and the case is still pending.

Yesterday, he told the Star he is taking a rest from everything, including media appearance.

Omar is said to be concentrating on his businesses as he continues to empower the youth through the Renaissance Centre.

Awiti, who ditched Wiper and formed his own Vibrant Democratic Party ,through which he vied for the seat, said his blood is “full of politics” and although the campaign drained him, he enjoyed every bit of it.

“We are still in the race. I am concentrating on my businesses because 2022 is still far. But at the right time, I will be ready and better equipped,” Awiti said.

His freight, security and shipping businesses took a massive hit..

“When you do not concentrate on your business, they suffer. But I enjoyed the politics,” Awiti said.

Vocal former Kongowea MCA Jabess Oduor, who gave a shot at the Mombasa senator seat, said he is involved in small-time politics as he rebuilds his vaults.

“I am still serving the residents in my own small way. I have been with the traders at Kongowea whose stalls were demolished for road expansion, and other small-scale traders and service providers like matatu operators,” Jabess said.

SH200MILLION budget

Financially, he said he spent at least Sh40 million.

“When I lost the Wiper nominations and decided to be an independent candidate, I knew what I was getting myself into because that was my 15th year in politics,” he said on the phone.

Jabess said he got help from some of his business friends and partners. He is involved in the property sector, car importation and advertising.

Shahbal declined to reveal how much he spent in the campaigns, but sources close to him told the Star he spent between Sh200-Sh300 million.

“[The campaign budget for] 2017 was more expensive than 2013. That much I can tell you,” Shahbal said.

Awiti said the amount he spent on campaigns is his secret, but his aides say he spent close to Sh200 million. “That is why he was hospitalised when they said he garnered only 4,000 votes in the elections. He said they played him,” an aide said.

The source said Awiti was hospitalised for a week during the campaigns after he learnt some of his employees had stolen millions from him as he concentrated on politics.

Hamisi Mwaguya vied for the Mombasa senator seat as an independent candidate after he lost the ODM nominations. He is the former Mombasa county secretary.

Mwaguya said he will be back.

“I am currently farming as well as consultancy on economics and financce,” Mwaguya told the Star from Madrid, Spain.

down , but not out

Other politicians are still active and act as opposition leaders in the constituencies they vied for.

Abdi Daib, who vied for the Changamwe MP seat on a Jubilee ticket, has been challenging the political leadership of Changamwe constituency and Mombasa county.

Others who have remained active include Dan Aloo, who vied for the Jomvu MP seat, and Abdulsalaam Kassim, who vied for the Mombasa

senator seat on a Jubilee ticket.

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