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6 top aspirants vying for Mombasa Governor

Election campaigns are gaining momentum in the highly cosmopolitan Mombasa County

Mombasa 2022 governor election aspirants: Hassan Omar, Suleiman Shahbal, Adbulswamad Nassir and William Kingi

A battle line is drawn and six combatants are ready to square it out, earnestly to succeed incumbent Governor Hassan Ali Joho.

This race is billed as one of the most expensive, second to the Nairobi election, and third after the presidency.

More than 500,000 voters are the deciders and the target for political strategies set by a businessman, former senator, a current MP, the deputy governor, and others.

Here are the governor hopefuls seeking to clinch the Mombasa gubernatorial seat.

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Omar is a former senator of Mombasa county. He won the seat in 2013 garnering 130,605 votes at the time, after defeating veteran politician Ramadhan Kajembe (now deceased) and current Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala.

In the 2017 elections, Hassan vied for Mombasa governor on a Wiper Party ticket but emerged third after garnering 44,000 votes.

Armed with a strategy to influence Mombasa voters to stop the politics of tokenism and alms - and to embrace issue-based political contests - he will be vying for the position on a United Democratic Alliance (UDA) ticket this time around.

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He is a banker and businessman. This is his third stab at the seat having lost to Mr Joho in the 2013 and 2017 elections. On both occasions, he came up second with 94,905 and 69,555 votes respectively.

Banker Shahbal believes he will win by morning on this third attempt. He has an agenda to create jobs by initiating projects through public-private partnerships and to better education standards. He also promises to allocate Sh50 million for each ward and spur economic growth to create 100,000 jobs per year.

He has also revamped his campaign to reflect a more youthful look, feel and energy, he is hitting the campaign trail in cool sunglasses and red berets and putting out posters with graphics appealing to the youth. Very different from his previous campaigns which had a more business-formal and professional aesthetic.

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He has also abandoned the Jubilee party in July 2021 and joined ODM where he presents a worthy opponent to ODM luminary Abdulswamad Nassir.

Mr Nassir is the current National Assembly representative (MP) for Mvita constituency and serves as the chair of the 12th Parliament's Public Investments Committee (PIC). He had been a member of the committee in the 11th Parliament.

He has been termed as the incumbent’s project having been endorsed by Governor Joho to vie for the seat.

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In an effort to bag the governor's seat, Abdulswamad boasts of a track record in the fight against corruption and protecting Mombasa residents from policies with adverse effects on the county's economy.

He is set to face off with Suleiman Shahbal during the upcoming party primaries.

Dr Kingi is the current deputy governor for Mombasa county and has expressed confidence in winning the seat due to his experience in county leadership.

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As part of his manifesto, he has pledged to set up a Sh500 million a year bursary fund and a Sh1 billion revolving fund for small and medium enterprises as well as to boost blue economy to create employment in the county.

He is the MP for Kisauni and says he has a head-start because he represents Kisauni Constituency which boasts of 120,000 voters.

Mbogo is on a Wiper Party ticket and his main agenda of running for the seat is to deal with land squatter problems.

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Mr Awiti is a former MP for Nyali. He contested unsuccessfully for the Mombasa gubernatorial seat in the 2017 elections.

Bollo will vie for the seat on a Vibrant Democratic Party (VDP) ticket.

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