Suleiman Shahbal has declined Hassan Omar's offer to serve as his county executive committee member should the Senator become Mombasa governor.

 

Shahbal (Jubilee Party), Omar (Wiper secretary general) and Nyali MP Hezron Awiti (Vibrant Democratic Party) are in the race to succeed incumbent Hassan Joho (ODM).

Shahbal said he will instead serve as Omar's private economic and financial adviser if the senator floors him.

“I appreciate that he has offered me a job. I respectfully decline because I don’t want a full-time job,” he said.

“But what I will do for you, my brother, in the remote and unlikely possibility that you win, is to be your private economic and financial adviser. I will do it with a clean heart. I will support you 100 per cent and work with you.”

The two spoke on Wednesday night during the Mombasa governor debate organised by Kenya Alliance of Residents Association and the civil society urban development platform.

Shahbal is a banker with 25 years experience locally and abroad.

The two politicians were tasked with asking each each other questions concerning the August 8 vote.

Shahbal asked if Omar has the experience, knowledge or the connections to pull off an economic miracle in Mombasa.

“In my view, the biggest problem Mombasa has right now, that is fundamental to all our problems, is the massive economic and financial decline," Shahbal said.

To transform the county, Omar noted leadership must make use of the expertise of all parties and that they must unite to achieve common goals.

He noted driving Mombasa will not be done single-handedly and that he will be assisted by others in his government.

“One thing I know is that I'm a team player,” he said.

Omar added the fact that he headed the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights as vice chairman proves he is competent.

He resigned in 2010 after falling out with chairperson Florence Simbiri over the alleged leak of vital witness protection information by a commissioner. The witness had given accounts of the bloody 2007 post poll violence.

“He (Shahbal) does not appreciate that a constitutional commission is actually a constitutional body that has structures. I delivered in that commission on the basis of my mandates at that time,” he said.

“I brought the highest levels of funding. I had all the connection I needed for that job.”

"FRIENDLY DEBATE SHOWS PEACE IS PRIORITY"

Omar noted his local and international connections and said he will use them to spur Mombasa's economic transformation.

He said his focus is economic orientation aimed at tackling basic needs first.

“Before you make Mombasa Dubai, make sure it is clean...and that there is clean water for all. Deal with the micro economy as the national government handles the macro,” he said.

Both said competition is friendly and should not be misconstrued to mean hatred.

Shahbal said is he totally committed to a peaceful poll and that whoever wins will get his backing.

“It's not a matter of life and death,”he said.

Omar said he has committed legally to ensure polls are not violent.

The Senator is signatory to a commitment deposited with IEBC compelling every Wiper member to keep off chaos int he electioneering period.

“And in the event that anything happens to the contrary [I committed] that I be held personally liable,” the Senator said.

Omar said the the cordial, friendly, intelligent and manageable debate was a show of their commitment to peace.

The Wiper SG said he and Shahbal only have differences of opinion.

“Shahbal is not my enemy so those of you painting the picture that we are enemies are misinformed. We are simply differing on how the county should be run,” he said.

He added the people will remain one regardless of who wins.

Joho skipped the discussions.