Battle heats up for Lamu Senatorial race as incumbent Chiaba misses out

Lamu Senator Abu Chiaba (left) together with Lamu County Commissioner Joseph Kanyiri. PHOTO: NATASHA NEMA.

Lamu, KENYA: The Lamu senatorial race seems like a piece of cake for the seven aspirants lined up due to the absence of the incumbent Abu Chiaba of Jubilee.

Chiaba was floored during the nominations by little known youthful newcomer Anwar Loitiptip also of Jubilee party.

The senatorial and MCA races are the only ones that have attracted a huge number of aspirants in the county.
Over 90 MCA spirants have been cleared to run in the forthcoming general elections.

Loitiptip went down history as the only newcomer to send an incumbent home in the county since no other incumbents faced a similar fate.

Others lined up for the senatorial race in the county include the county assembly speaker and former Lamu East MP Mohamed Hashim of ANC, former chairperson of the defunct municipal council of Lamu Hassan Albeity of Wiper , who is taking a second shot after he was floored in 2013.

Others are: County director of revenue Abdalla Shelali of ODM, Lawyer Waihiga Mwaure of Agano party, Major (Rtd)Mohdhar Ali of Safina party and business man Abdulrahman Aboud who is running as an independent candidate.

The only would-have been female candidate in the race, nominated MCA Monica Njambi of Jubilee was ousted at the party primaries in April.

Critics are of the opinion that the absence of the incumbent from the race and his subsequent influence makes the race seem like an easy kill for the eight who feel he would have been a major hindrance to their win.

For Loitiptip, the fact that he ousted Chiaba earns him an extra bonus and the much needed mileage.

Abdulrahman Aboud is not first timer at the ballot having tried his luck for the same position in 2013 general election but was floored by the incumbent.

For Lawyer Waihiga Mwaure, switching from the gubernatorial race where he emerged second runners up in the 2013 general elections to the senatorial race seems to assure him of a soft landing.

“I emerged third in the gubernatorial race in 2013 which is enough indication that I am capable of clinching the senatorial race which a smaller position as compared to what I contested for previously,” said Mwaure.

However, many observe that the battle will be a two horse race majorly between ANC’s Hashim who is considered a veteran in the political arena and Wiper’s Albeity, both of whom are seen as having more advantage of the rest due to their influence and longstanding presence in the county politics.

The incumbent Abu Chiaba has however stated that he will not be running as an independent candidate and neither will he be retiring from politics anytime soon.