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Why Joho snubbed Gubernatorial Debate

Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho has stoked fresh controversy by snubbing a Gubernatorial Debate that would have seen him come face to face with his opponents in the August 8 general election.

The Gubernatorial Debate organized by the Kenya Alliance of Resident Association (Kara), was held on Wednesday night at the Pride Inn Hotel.

The incumbent and three other candidates eyeing the seat namely, Hezron Awiti, Omar Hassan Omar and Suleiman Shahbal were meant to discuss key issues affecting service delivery at the coast.

However, only Hassan Omar and Suleiman Shahbal were present during the debate.

According to the events programme coordinator all participants were notified in advance about the debate.


“We sent invites to the Mombasa governor’s office on the 14th of this month and we were in communication with them. But the day before the debate when we were about to go for a final briefing with the governor, we were called and told that he would not be attending the debate,” says Ms Nancy Kariuki.

However, Mombasa County’s Director of Communication and Public Relations, Mr Richard Chacha has faulted the organizers for poor communication

“I asked the organizers to send a formal invite stipulating the rules of the debate but we only received a poster which they sent. We needed to agree and understand the rules of the game, and also be able to suggest and propose ideas but this was not possible since there was little to no communication from the organizers,” Chacha said.

“For this reason we felt that it was best not to let the governor expose himself, since he is the incumbent and people might resort to attacking him with words.”

Mr Joho’s absence at the debate elicited mixed reactions from netizens. Here is what they had to say: