Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho has been blamed for an imminent fallout in the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party in Nyali constituency ahead of the polls.
Former Mombasa mayor and a contestant – Mr John Mcharo, who has decamped to Wiper Party, has accused the governor of handpicking his cousin, Mr Said Abdalla, to run on an ODM ticket for the Nyali parliamentary seat.
Mr Abdalla is a newcomer in politics.
“I spoke to the governor recently and told him that he was wrecking the party by picking somebody who is not experienced to run on the party’s ticket,” Mr Mcharo said in an interview.
But Mr Abdalla denied the allegations, saying the governor did not have a preferred candidate.
“I have been working with the people of Nyali and have done a lot in terms of development for a number of years now. I have sunk boreholes in areas with water problem and given out bursaries to needy children,” he said.
Concerning his close relationship with the governor, Mr Abdalla said Mr Joho had not indicated he would favour him.
Mr Joho’s close ally, ODM Mombasa chairman Mohamed Hatimy also distanced the governor from the claims of handpicking candidates.
“We are going to carry out free and fair nominations and whoever has the highest number of votes will be the winner,” he said.
Others in the race for the ODM ticket are Edward Markores, former county assembly Speaker Thaddeus Rajwayi and journalist Mohamed Ali.
Mr Rajwayi says they will oppose any attempts by Mr Joho to decide who gets the ticket.
“Somebody cannot just decide for the people of Nyali that so and so is the one fit to take the ticket,” he said.
Mr Mcharo, who garnered 16,300 votes against current MP Hezron Awiti’s 19,000, will battle it out for the Wiper nomination with three others – Simon Adala, Mark Ouma and Millicent Odhiambo.
Mr Awiti’s eyes are trained on the governor’s seat.
Others in the race are Yasir Noor (Jubilee Party) and Chrispas Waithaka who moved from Jubilee to Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua’s Maendeleo Chap Chap citing favouritism.
But Mr Noor has dismissed claims of favouritism in Jubilee saying Mr Waithaka sensed defeat and that was why he decamped to Maendeleo Chap Chap.