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MOMBASA

Political twist as Governor Joho surprisingly meets Sonko, Details

Sim Ali
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Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho and his Nairobi counterpart Mike Mbuvi Sonko, at City Hall, Nairobi, November 26, 2018. [Source/Mike Sonko]

In what seems to be a surprise to many Kenyans, Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho and his Nairobi counterpart Mike Mbuvi Sonko, met and shook hands on Monday.

Joho, opposition's ODM deputy party leader, paid Sonko, a staunch Jubilee party governor a courtesy call at his City Hall office, two years after the two nearly exchanged blows.

On January 9, 2016, President Uhuru Kenyatta's event to issue title deeds to residents of the controversial Waitiki land at Shika Adabu in Likoni ended up as a shouting match between Joho and Sonko, who was the then Nairobi Senator.

Joho started the 'trouble' when he accused the President of snubbing him despite the fact that he was in his County.

According to Joho, Uhuru had stayed in Mombasa for more than two weeks yet he was neither notified about his presence in the County nor invited to any of his events.

"Even if people in this county are from the other side (opposition), it is not fair to stay within for more than 16 days without the governor knowing. I just hear that the president has been at the ferry, I am not aware. I only read in the newspapers," Joho said as Uhuru and Deputy President William Ruto listened.

Sonko took the governor head-on after being invited to address residents, and accused him of disrespecting and blackmailing the president.

"Whenever the president visits, he always invites you to his functions. You should ask yourself why you have been sidelined this time round. Because you have bad manners of blackmailing the president," Sonko said, referring to Joho.

At one time, Sonko attacked Joho afresh, citing his academic qualifications. 

According to him, Joho could not prove he went through University education. Sonko cited this when addressing the press over his academic certificates, saying he went through secondary school, college and university, and could prove it.

 "The current Knut chairman Mudzo Nzili was the chairman of the Board of Governor at Kwale High School. My former headmaster Manoah Ndegwa is the current director of education in Tana River. My schoolmates are all over. So I'm not like Joho, who can not even produce a gown to prove he went to school,'' Sonko said, two years ago as he sought the gubernatorial post.

Their political enmity remained strong until Monday's surprise meeting between them. During his first term, Joho was a crucial critic of Uhuru's Jubilee administration, something Sonko did not want.

"Earlier today Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho paid me a courtesy call at City Hall," Sonko said shortly after the meeting, flanked by Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi, Mombasa County Assembly Speaker Aharub Khatri among others.

The leaders were in Nairobi for the first global Sustainable Blue Economy Conference (SBEC), which kicked off on November 26th - 28th. 

"Joho, who is in Nairobi City to attend the ongoing global conference on Sustainable Blue Economy at the Kenyatta International Convention Center, said he is really impressed with the beautification exercise done by Nairobi City County Government," disclosed Sonko.

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