, MOMBASA, Kenya, Jul 2 – Mombasa Mayor Ahmed Abubakar Mohdhar secured a second term in office on Thursday after a unanimous vote by his peers.
It was smooth sailing for Mr Mohdhar after his expected rival Tawfiq Balala – a former nominated councilor – resigned two weeks ago.
In what appeared to be a formal ceremony, his deputy John Mcharo was also elected unopposed with members of the council also retaining their posts.
All local authorities across the country have a deadline of August 15 to elect new leaders.
In Nairobi where at least five councillors have declared candidacy for the Mayoral seat, campaigns were ongoing for the August 10 polls. Nominated Councillor Tim Wanyonyi was championing revenue collection and security as his key campaign pillars.
“For us to deliver services to the residents of Nairobi, we must involve them through our councilors; we have to decentralise services from the city centre to the wards and further improve the security level of the city,” Mr Wanyonyi said in an interview with Capital News.
Incumbent mayor Geoffrey Majiwa emphasised the need to focus on policies rather than rhetoric. “If somebody wants a position, they will say everything they can talk about but the issue here is what the policies that they are selling are.”
Kaloleni/Makongeni ward councillor George Aladwa exuded confidence that he would be victorious in the polls, saying he was best placed to run the affairs of the City.
“I am appealing to my fellow councilors that we have a peaceful election because we know that we will defeat Majiwa,” Mr Aladwa stated and underscored the need for politicians not to interfere with the process.
Mr Aladwa said he was ready for the elections, and was infact pushing for the date to be brought forward.
“We wanted the date to be on the 20th of July because we have already campaigned for the last three months,” he said.
His fellow contestant William Kinyanyi (Kariobangi South) emphasised the need to include all stakeholders in major decision making processes within the town hall.
He assured city residents that he would work for a conducive environment with the inclusion of everyone’s views.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Local Government Musalia Mudavadi had earlier announced that elections for Mayors and Chairmen of various committees in all local authorities in the country will be held in early August.
Mr Mudavadi said any local authority that will hold elections outside the given time frame will have their results nullified. The Minister also warned councillors against engaging in violence during the elections and called on clerks to decisively deal with anyone who causes chaos during the exercise.