Senator Omar attacks Joho for ‘bringing down’ competitors billboards
Mombasa Senator, Hassan Omar, has claimed that the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) Deputy Party Leader, Ali Hassan Joho, will not be Mombasa Governor come August 8, 2017 when Kenyans go to the ballot.
While addressing the press in Mombasa, Omar castigated Joho for intimidating advertising companies by cautioning them against erecting billboards bearing the pictures of Jubilee’s Suleiman Shabhal and Vibrant Democratic Party’s Hezron Awiti, his competitors in the gubernatorial race, adding that he has communicated to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) regarding the matter citing breach of the commission’s electoral code of conduct by the incumbent.
“Mark my words: Joho will not be the Governor of Mombasa County on August 9, it is common knowledge in Mombasa, in the media and different stakeholders in this County know it too, personally I do not need billboards, our agenda is out there and we have the best manifesto. I will push the relevant agencies to act, I have spoken to Awiti and he has said he has substantial evidence,” Omar said.
Omar also said that he has also asked the National Super Alliance (NASA) leadership to intervene to ensure that there is fair competition in the race for the county’s top seat.
He urged the advertising companies in question not to be intimidated by Joho saying if they give in to his bullying, it will affect fair play in the race.
The Senator appealed to the advertising companies to remain firm and continue with their business as usual saying he will personally protect them from the ‘sultan type of intimidation’ adding that he has been reluctant to respond to the billboard saga because it is a diversionary tactic by Joho.
“If you allow yourself to be drawn to a scheme, you lose control of your own strategy, and because of the escalation of the issue after Awiti’s billboards were brought down and seeing a charge sheet addressed to him doing rounds on social media, I have seen it fit to address the issue,” Omar added.
The Senator accused Joho of underachieving for the time he has been in office and advised his fellow competitors in the race not to retaliate by bringing Joho’s billboards down urging them to embrace different tacts while dealing with the issue.
“It raises fundamental policy question in Mombasa County, intimidation of business people has reached a crescendo that has to be tamed, Joho has victimized players in different sectors ranging from the construction industry to advertising and I challenge you to take the bold step and ensure that we have our democratic space as provided for by the constitution, lets deal with him cleverly, do not bring down his billboards, he has nothing else to show for his four years in office even if his own billboards are erected next to dumpsites,” added Omar.
Joho’s ‘sympathy tactic’
“This issue tells us a lot about his character, even large corporates do not put three billboards in a row, he is building a narrative of sympathy and if his billboards are brought down, he will not blame me, Shabhal or Awiti, he will blame it on President Uhuru Kenyatta.”
“What he is doing here is petty because when he is barred from attending presidential functions, he will invite the press and play the sympathy tactic.”