President Kenyatta set to share podium with critic Mombasa Governor, Hassan Joho
Kenyatta is expected to open the Mombasa International Show at the Mkombani Grounds on Thursday.
And as the governor of Mombasa, Hassan Joho who is one of Kenyatta's most vociferous critics is set to attend the 5-day event and address the residents of Mombasa as well.
With the agricultural show coming a day before a verdict is read delivered , there is anticipation Joho will make a political statement during the event.
The Agriculture Society of Kenya (ASK) running under the theme “Promoting Innovation and Technology in Agriculture and Trade” will showcase significant inventions, developments and unveil new technologies in agriculture and trade.
Mombasa International Show chairperson Anisa Abdalla expressed optimism that the fair would be a success keeping in mind that it had so far attracted 140 local and international exhibitors compared to 110 in last year’s event.
“Following a rise in exhibitors, we expect at least 200,000 local and international visitors,” she said.
Whenever the two leaders have met, there has been tension.
The last meeting between them led to a confrontation after Joho was barred and allegedly harassed by state security from attending the launch of the Mtogwe ferry much to his fury and a section of Kenyans.
“This is backwardness because according to me that ferry is a devolved function and affects the lives of my people and I owe to be have been there but if you don’t want me to be there it is okay,” a bitter Joho said.
The president later accused the governor of courting cheap publicity by attacking him and following him around like ‘he was his wife’ instead of serving the residents of Mombasa.
The governor who is also the secretary general of Orange Democratic Party (ODM) is a fierce defender of National Super Alliance Coalition, (NASA) flag bearer Raila Odinga and supports his claims that his presidential win was stolen.
Mombasa County is also a stronghold of the opposition and during the just concluded elections, residents overwhelmingly voted for NASA affiliated parties.
Being the only major port in Kenya as well as the host of Kenya’s world famous white sandy beaches which attracts millions of tourists annually, the region plays a vital role in Kenya’s economy and the government has been trying over the years to wrestle it from the opposition.
It is not yet confirmed but opposition chief, Raila Odinga may also attend the agriculture show further complicating matters for President Uhuru.
The fair will run from Wednesday to Sunday and over 200,000 visitors are expected to attend the event.
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