MOMBASA, Kenya, Mar 25 – A Jubilee Party rally scheduled to take place at the Mvita grounds in Mombasa County on Sunday has been postponed.
The party will instead hold a rally in Malindi which will be attended by Deputy Party President William Ruto.
Tension was high in Mombasa as Jubilee and ODM prepared to hold parallel rallies in Mvita and Tononoka concurrently.
JP officials in Mombasa are said to have opted to join the DP in Malindi as opposed to continuing with plans to have a rally in Mombasa which was expected to be graced by a number of aspirants including the party’s frontrunner in the gubernatorial race Suleiman Shahbal who contested for the position on a Wiper Democratic Movement ticket in 2013.
Shahbal, who together with his running mate former Assistant Minister Anania Mwaboza has won the support of Ruto lost to incumbent Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho who garnered 132,583 votes against his 94,905.
Shahbal, however lost a case filed before Mombasa High Court when Justice Fred Ochieng ruled in favour of Joho on September 7, 2013.
This year’s contest may however prove to be a tough test for Joho and his NASA colleagues – Mombasa Senator Omar Hassan and Nyali MP Awiti Bollo – all of who have declared interest in the seat with the incumbent governor seeking to defend his seat.
Joho has also lost the support of his deputy Hazel Katana who recently defected to Jubilee Party citing frustration by her boss.
Katana who wants to be Mombasa Senator in August was a key ally in Joho’s rise to governorship with political pundits seeing her as the hook that won the ODM deputy party leader the votes of the Miji Kenda community – the single most biggest constituency in the county.
According to Joho, the ODM rally will not be attended by other opposition co-leaders in the National Super Alliance other than party leader Raila Odinga.