Joho, Ruto face off in battle for Coast - Beaking Kenya News

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Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Joho, Ruto face off in battle for Coast


Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho has moved to counter Deputy President William Ruto’s political inroads in Coast and stamp his authority in the region.

His presence at Frere Town yesterday came just two weeks after Dr Ruto visited the same grounds during his recent tour of the coast.

Mr Joho, in a tour of Nyali Constituency, represented by former journalist Mohamed Ali and an ally of Dr Ruto, Mr Joho criticised the DP, saying he had been in power for eight years yet had done nothing for young people.

“Since 2013 when he became deputy President, there is nothing he has done for the youth apart from bringing them wheelbarrows. Youths have their talents which they can monetise and all you can offer them are wheelbarrows? I have been giving youths funds to start businesses,” he said.

Mr Joho said he was out to empower youths and women through the county’s revolving fund that offered every group Sh100,000 in business capital.

Winning the presidency

“Leaders who will get elected are those who are responsive to the people’s needs. The greatest challenge in Kenya is poverty and unemployment and lack of opportunities for people to improve their lives,” he said, adding that he would ensure that more funds are given to the youth for them to open businesses.

He criticised the national government for allocating only one percent of its Sh3 trillion budget to youths and women. He said the country was not going to be led by only two tribes and that  time was ripe for Coast region to also produce a president.

He expressed confidence of winning the presidency, saying that residents of Mombasa came from all parts of the country. So far, Mr Joho is the only ODM member who has handed in his nomination papers to contest for President on the party’s ticket.

“It is not possible for this country to be led by only two or by selected tribes. I am Kenyan like any other, if they can run I can run. If they can win I can win. Let it be known that as people from Coast, we will be united and on the ballot, just like the rest,” he said.

Since last week, Mr Joho has been on the campaign trail, moving to every sub county where he distributed bursary cheques and used the opportunity to rally residents to back his presidential bid.

Regional political party

In Frere Town, Mr Joho told residents that he first led Kisauni and Nyali constituencies when he was an MP , and did not need permission to be allowed to hold a meeting in the area, in an apparent reference to Mr Ali.

“Nyali and Kisauni constituency are the ones who made the whole country know me. Therefore I am home. Do I really need anybody’s permission to come here? Those who think so have lost their way,” he said.

Mr Joho is leading a drive to neutralise Dr Ruto’s dominance in the region. He has managed to ensure that plans to form a regional political party to weaken ODM do not materialise. Jumuiya Ya Kaunti za Pwani, the Coast economic bloc that brings together the region’s six counties, is also taking off.

Since he launched his Presidential bid, Governor Joho has intensified his campaigns in Mombasa.

He has won the support of a section of the regions MPs, including Likoni’s Mishi Mboko, Mvita’s Abdulswamad Sherrif and Kisauni’s Ali Mbogo who have vowed to support his presidential bid.


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