April 28th 2017

Top Stories / Counties

Nyali MP Awiti Bolo turns to Luos as his politics in turmoil over Jubilee links

His associate told this writer that some of his core supporters tried to talk him out of the meeting but he went ahead with it. "Trying to get the Luo vote is a pipe dream, and it only shows that Mr Awiti is fishing in shallow waters and can't be trusted to pursue a consistent political path".

By Free Press Correspondentnewsdesk@kenyafreepress.comMonday, 23 Jan 2017 11:46 EAT

Mr Awiti at the meeting with Luo leaders yesterday. (Photo: Free Press Correspondent).

Nyali MP Awiti Bolo has been forced back to the drawing board following the unraveling of alliances he had been trying to build in the coastal town in his bid to become Mombasa governor. According to a close associate of the the MP, Mr Bolo is increasingly isolated from his former allies who were hoping that he could emerge as a force against Governor Hassan Joho. Among the MP's primary supporters were businesspeople and members of the Kamba and Kikuyu communities and local critics of Governor Joho.

The MP's growing evidence of his cooperation with Jubilee Party activists has undermined his standing and, with the governor's position farther from his grips, it would be hard for him to even win back his seat in August general elections. At the beginning of his campaigns, Mr Bolo endeared himself to members of the Kamba community who form the bedrock of the Wiper Democratic Movement party where he belongs.

He always took part in all Wiper Party activities and was seen as the main ally of party leader Kalonzo Musyoka. However, the MP recently missed two important events held by the party leader in Mombasa, fearing the prominent role his challenger Hassan Omar (local senator and Wiper secretary general) was playing in them.

During the visit by President Uhuru Kenyatta in Mombasa early January, Mr Awiti defended the Jubilee government alongside Kilifi North MP Gideon Mungaro, who has officially defected to Jubilee Party. The did not go down well with some of Mr Awiti's supporters who were hoping that he can emerge as the political force against governor Hassan Joho. "You can't reach Mombasa voters by showing to them that you are a sycophant of the Jubilee government," said the MP's ally, speaking on condition of anonymity. 

This weekend, Mr Aiwiti surprised even his most loyal supporters by turning to members of his Luo community, the majority of whom are well known to support Mr Joho. The MP held a closed-door meeting with members of the community at Metric Inn Annex hotel. The meeting brought together activists, aspiring leaders and representatives of jua kali and petty traders drawn from various constituencies.

According to a participant, Mr Bolo said his main reason for inviting the leaders was to unite all Luos in Mombasa behind his candidature. His associate told this writer that some of his core supporters tried to talk him out of the meeting but he went ahead with it. "Trying to get the Luo vote is a pipe dream, and it only shows that Mr Awiti is fishing in shallow waters and can't be trusted to pursue a consistent political path," he said.

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