The battle between Mombasa Senator Mr Hassan Omar and and Nyali MP Hezron Awiti took a new twist on Monday after Wiper Party officials endorsed Mr Omar for the gubernatorial seat in the August polls.
Mr Awiti, who is the Wiper Democratic Party Treasurer, has accused the party hierarchy of trying to block him from facing the party's Secretary General Mr Omar in the party primaries.
Mr Awiti dismissed the endorsement of Mr Omar by some party officials on Monday for the governor's seat as undemocratic and an act of cowardice.
“They have been planning to lock me out of Wiper (Party) and out of the Mombasa gubernatorial race. But let me tell them that no one can stop Awiti. I am in the race,” he said on phone on Monday.
WATCHING THEIR STEPS
The Nyali legislator said that he will not be cowed by anyone in his ambition to vie for the seat.
Mr Awiti said that he will prove to the public who is stronger between him and Mr Omar by holding “big meetings” which will bring together many aspirants who support him.
“I have been watching their steps and I am organising myself with a plan 'B'. They have decided to block me (from contesting) after all that I have done for the Wiper party – the sacrifices I have made to popularise the party. But I can assure them I will not be brought down by anybody,” Mr Awiti said.
Five party chairpersons representing Nyali, Changamwe, Jomvu, Likoni and Kisauni constituencies and several aspirants asked the national election board to nominate Mr Omar as the party's candidate for the gubernatorial race, “guided by articles10.7 and 23.2 of the party's constitution”
“If any candidate doesn’t want to follow the party nomination procedure as per the party constitution, then he/ she should not arm-twist the party and the party leader to suit his/ her ambition,” added a statement signed by Changamwe Wiper Party chairman, Jackson Malii during a press conference in Mombasa town on Monday.
BUILT NATIONAL PROFILE
They added: “If at all the party will decide to subject Senator Hassan Omar to a nomination process then it should be done through the holders of the party membership card as was resolved during the National Delegates Conference pursuant to article 7 of the party constitution.”
They argued that Mr Omar has the right qualification, leadership qualities and integrity needed for the governor's seat. They added that “Mr Omar has built a national profile that will endear all that are affiliated to his candidacy”.
“All Mombasa county based political aspirants are more affiliated to the senator than any other aspirant for gubernatorial seat,” the statement added.
The leaders, including Wiper Party Likoni parliamentary hopeful Mr Suleiman Shakombo and five MCAs said that the party's inability to conduct nominations for various seats in Mombasa has damaged their grassroots activities.
Mr Awiti is expected to launch a series of rallies in Mombasa at the weekend and it remains to be seen what unfolds between him and the Mombasa Senator.