One mans show as Mombasa gubernatorial aspirants snub debate

Jubilee Mombasa governor hopeful Suleiman Shahbal with his running mate Ananiah Mwaboza at a past function. PHOTO: COURTESY.

Mombasa,KENYA:It was a one mans show at a breakfast meeting cum gubernatorial debate organized by the Kenya Association of Manufacturers at the Nyali beach international hotel on Friday morning.

According to a rep who was speaking on behalf of the KAM coast chapter chair Jinal Shah, only the Jubilee party gubernatorial aspirant Suleiman Shahbal showed up for the debate.

The association had organized a breakfast meeting where they expected the aspirants to outline their economic and business agenda of the Mombasa county government if they are elected.

“The aspirants were supposed to outline their economic and business agenda and as well outline their proposed revenue spending,”  the rep told Baraka FM on phone.

Initially all the gubernatorial aspirants had confirmed their attendance when they were invited but the show turned to be a one mans show after 3 of the aspirants failed  to show up.

“We gave all the aspirants an official invitation almost one moth ago. It is unfortunate that only one Suleiman Shahbal has responded to our call.This is quite a good debate because the business community wants to know from each candidate his policies towards the future economy of the county.” Jinal told reporters after the debate.

The debate was supposed to start at 9.00 am and the rep told Baraka FM that only Mombasa senator Hassan Omar rep’s sent an apology as he was getting late while Mombasa governor Ali Hassan Joho’s representatives did not pick up their phones and Nyali MP Hezron Awiti reps did not also pick up either.

Earlier in the day the VDP aspirant Hezron Awiti had addressed the media at the Buxton roundabout complaining over his billboard being pulled down by the Mombasa county inspectorate officers.

Speaking after the debate Shabal criticized his opponents saying they were unfit to hold office.

“This is so clear, my political rivals cannot be trusted in holding any public office any where in this country. It is a disgrace. Quite a disgrace for my opponents to skip such an official event. This is a public office which requires a lot of commitment, transparency and accountability of county the resources.” He said.

Baraka FM tried to contact Awiti’s reps who did not pick up while the Director of Communications at the Mombasa county government Richard Chacha said denied ever confirming their attendance, citing lack of particulars on the invitation letter.

Additional reporting by Peter Kombe