Joho must have been aware of controversial portrait motion before it passed;...

Joho must have been aware of controversial portrait motion before it passed; critics.

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Mombasa county assembly. Photo: Courtesy.

Political analysts and critics of the Mombasa governor Hassan Ali Joho, have given the controversial portrait motion a fresh twist, arguing that the governor must have known it was going to be tabled in the county assembly, way before it was passed.

The motion, which was passed last week by a majority of Mombasa MCAs, seeks to compel all businessmen within the county to display the governor’s portrait in all their premises.

It elicited angry reaction from a cross section of Mombasa residents even before it was taken to the governor for assent before it can become a by-law.

Joho, who reacted after the backlash, reprimanded the members of the county assembly (MCAs), and asked them to focus on more progressive legislation that would benefit the local residents.

His critics have however termed the governor’s reaction as pretence and damage-control gimmicks, arguing that he knew the motion was being tabled at the assembly and should have intervened before it was passed.

“There is no way such a motion, touching on the person of the governor, would go to the assembly without his knowledge, even if he is not involved in county assembly affairs. I think he just didn’t anticipate the reaction, and therefore had to retract,” a Mombasa-based political analyst, told Baraka FM.

The controversial bill was sponsored by Mjambere ward MCA, Hamis Mwabashiri and seconded by Mtongwe ward MCA, Hamis Mwidani, in what has widely been condemned and described as an act of sycophancy by MCAs allied to the governor.

Joho, in his reaction, gave indication he would reject the bill.

“I am yet to receive official communication on the matter and will act in the best interest of the people of Mombasa,” he said Joho in a statement.

Only two MCAs are reported objected to the motion.

Joho’s communication office has insisted the governor had not even been aware that the motion had been tabled and discussed at the assembly.

“The county assembly is autonomous and the governor cannot meddle in their affairs. He cannot be that unwise to support such a motion. He was not aware, and I can assure you, he will not assent to that bill,” Esther Ingolo, director of communication at the county, told Baraka FM.

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