As the campaigns for August 8 general election enters home stretch, aspirants for various positions in Mombasa County have taken their campaign a notch higher after going silent during the just ended holy month of Ramadhan.
All leading candidates have resorted to door to door campaigns, branding vehicles and mounting billboards to endear themselves to the electorates.
Candidates of the National Super Alliance (NASA) and Jubilee parties are more visible in what is seen as the most expensive campaigns witnessed in the coastal city.
The stakes this time are high unlike 2013 election where CORD swept all the elective seats in the county, said Omar Shallo, Jubilee candidate for the Mvita parliamentary seat.
In terms of billboards mounted in strategic areas, Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho has taken the lion’s share. He is also more visible in the number of branded vehicles.
His opponents have accused him of using his office to prevent them from erecting billboards and other outdoor campaign materials.
Joho has instructed advertising agents not to allow his opponents to erect campaign materials, claimed Nyali MP Hezron Awiti.
Awiti is gunning for Joho’s seat in the August 8 election on a Vibrant Democratic Party (VDP) ticket after defecting from Wiper party.
Other aspirants Suleiman Shahbal (Jubilee) and Hassan Omar (Wiper) have also made similar complaints.
But in a rejoinder, Joho dismissed the claims saying he was willing to freely donate his billboard sites to his opponents.
The Governor is said to have booked 21 campaign sites through agents in the county.
Beside the position of governor, the county is set to witness a bruising battle in all the six constituencies.
According to a number of residents, the hotly contested seats will be Changamwe, Mvita, Likoni and Kisauni.
In Chamgamwe, incumbent Omar Mwinyi (ODM) faces stiff challenge from Abdi Daib (Jubilee), while in Mvita incumbent Abdulswamad Nassir (ODM) faces stiff challenge from youthful newcomer Omar Shallo of Jubilee party.
Masoud Mwahima of Likoni (Jubilee) faces off with Mombasa women rep Mishi Mboko (ODM) while Kisauni’s MP Rashid Bedzimba (ODM) is challenged by Ali Mbogo of Wiper.
According to the latest figures from the Independent Electoral and Boundary Commission (IEBC), Mombasa County has a total of 596,485 registered voters.
Source: Kenya News Agency