ODM leader Raila Odinga has been making secret calls to grassroots opinion leaders in Msambweni Constituency, Kwale county, seeking advice on who should be given the party ticket during the upcoming by-election in the constituency. This is after conflicting reports from elected party leaders in Kwale county and Mombasa who have fronted different candidates.
For instance, Kwale senator Issa Boy wants the ticket given to Feisal Abdallah, a nephew of the late MP Suleiman Dori. On the other hand, Mombasa governor Hassan Joho is fronting Omar Boga, who contested for the seat in the last general election as an independent candidate and was runners-up. Yet another ODM camp is pushing for Nicholas Zani, a party insider who was Raila’s chief agent and campaigner in the last general elections. The fear within ODM is that a fallout after the nomination will cost them the seat given Kwale governor Salim Mvurya is keen to take the seat to have bragging rights ahead of the next general elections in which he intends to push his deputy Fatuma Achani to succeed him.
At the same time, Wiper party has its eyes wide open through its acting national chairman Chirau Mwakwere from the county who wants to stamp his authority by winning the seat and sending a warning to his governor opponents in 2022 general elections. Those opposed to Feisal being given the ODM ticket claim he has connections with Tangatanga politicians and in particular the immediate former majority leader in the national assembly Aden Duale. This narrative is being championed by those lobbying for Boga in ODM circles. The Boga camp is also fighting Zani, claiming he is from Matuga constituency and as such an outsider. But Zani’s clan is predominant in Ramisi and Gombatto wards in Msambweni constituency. He also enjoys a huge following among upcountry voters at Ukunda, a cosmopolitan town who feels he is best suited to protect them against schemes like Kayabombo.It is against this background that Raila is concerned that without proper handling of the matter, the party will lose to opponents.
Wiper’s Shee Abdulrahaman has made inroads among youthful voters. He used to organize and sponsor soccer tournaments in the constituency before Covid-19 struck and this has endeared him to soccer lovers. His supporters have however urged him to defect from Wiper if the party fails to give him a direct ticket. Bakari Sebe who initially wanted to run for the Msambweni seat on a Jubilee party ticket is confused after conflicting information that the party may not be fronting a candidate in the by-election and instead will support the one nominated by ODM in the spirit of the handshake. Sebe who is also CEC for finance in Kwale county government has seen his popularity nosedive after his campaigns were reportedly hijacked by political brokers led by a former civic leader. Sources say, Sebe is confused and was contemplating opting out of the parliamentary race.