The political tussle between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho played out again on Monday during the relaunch of Mtongwe Ferry services.
In a press briefing Monday morning, Governor Joho claimed that President Uhuru Kenyatta had blocked him from attending the function, stationing security officers outside his Nyali home to prevent his movement.
“There are GSU officers blocking major roads with clear instructions to prevent me from attending the rally.
“We had to use boda boda to get to town but after learning that police were under instructions to use force including live bullets to stop me and my supporters from attending the event we decided to sit it out.”
During his rally in Tononoka on Sunday, President Uhuru Kenyatta accused Governor Joho of engaging in empty rhetoric and spending more time insulting him than serving the people of Mombasa.
“Some people here are very busy insulted, saying I am launching projects started by past regimes or funded by foreign nations. What have they done for the people of this county?” questioned Uhuru.
Joho vows to hit back
Governor Joho, in a rejoinder statement to the media accused President Uhuru of engaging in politics of deception, vowing to attend the Mtongwe Ferry relaunch and respond to his claims.
It is for this reason that the president’s team thought it wise to block Joho from attending the event in a bid to prevent a ugly scenes witnessed during the launch of Buxton footbridge, according to sources within State House.
In January this year, Governor Joho publicly accused President Uhuru Kenyatta of playing mind games with the people of Mombasa by launching old projects in the county.
“When you (Uhuru) go to other parts of the country, you launch fresh projects while in Mombasa all you do is launch old projects.
“The Buxton footbridge project was started during the Grand coalition government led by Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga ad you cannot claim to own it. We the people of Mombasa want better allocation so that we can set up our own projects,” he said.
The services at the Mtongwe channel were stopped in 2011 after the government decommissioned the old ferries serving the channel.
The resumption of the services will ease transport for the locals who will now have a shorter route of getting to Mombasa CBD instead of using the Likoni channel.
Mombasa pitting Governor Joho has had run-ins with Jubilee government since his election a governor.
Year of defections
Joho has been perceived as the Opposition point man in Mombasa and the larger Coast region and a hindrance to Jubilee’s push to win over the region.
Despite the defection of several MPs from Coast region including Joho’s deputy governor Hazel Katana, Kilifi North MP Gideon Mung’aro, Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya, Taita Taveta Senator Dan Mwazo and Woman Representative MP Joyce Lay among others, the Opposition claims they are still strong.
Speaking in Malindi on Sunday, Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka said that the leaders defecting from NASA to Jubilee are unpopular on the ground and are doing so to get direct nominations.
“We are not worried that some of our leaders are defecting to Jubilee. They can have them because they have no influence on the ground. We have fresh and energetic replacements who already have the support of the people.”