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Former county secretary Thoya turns down Joho's job.

Mombasa county secretary Francis Thoya appears poised to chart his own political path after he declined a request by Governor Hassan Joho to join the County Public Service Board.

Thoya was Joho's long-time ally and campaign strategist. He served as Mombasa Lands executive and county secretary for a period of seven years. On Wednesday he turned down the governor's job 'owing to personal commitments.'

The former journalist wants to vie for Mombasa governor. He has already begun campaigns.

'This administration wants to impose people on Mombasa residents. That will not happen. The people will make their voice heard in the next poll,' Thoya said yesterday.

'Name sneaked in'

Towards the 2017 General Election, after Joho fell out with former Mombasa Deputy Governor Hazel Katana, Thoya was touted as her possible replacement. However, he felt short-changed when William Kingi, who was a lecturer at Technical University of Mombasa, was picked at the last minute.

In February, Thoya's term as county secretary came to an end and Joab Tumbo, who is Joho's chief of staff, was appointed in acting capacity.

Before Thoya's departure, the county government had advertised vacancies in the County Public Service Board in October 2018.

'I was still the county secretary then. There was no way I could have applied for a job to be a member of the board,' Thoya said.

'Some individuals in Joho's government sneaked my name in the list of applicants.'

The interviews for the board began on Wednesday at a hotel in Mombasa and Thoya was scheduled to appear before the panel yesterday.

'I want them to show you [media] the letter of application and the book in which all applicants signed after dropping their letters,' Thoya said.

Why he was kicked out

Mombasa director of communication Richard Chacha said they are not sure how Thoya's name was among the list of applicants.

'The board only listed those who applied. The application letters were dropped in a box. Therefore, for Thoya to appear in the list, it means someone applied using his name. Either he did it or someone else did it,' Chacha said.

He said the county secretary's position cannot be advertised because the County Service Board is not in place.

'We must first have a County Public Service Board. The interviews are going on, then later the county secretary's position will be advertised and anyone is free to apply,' Chacha said.

Thoya, who boasts of a good grassroots network with Mijikenda voters, who are the majority in Mombasa, said he was kicked out of Joho's administration because of his political ambitions.

'I will surprise many people come 2022. I do have the support of so many locals,' Thoya said.

Joho is serving his last term, but there is no clear picture on who will succeed him. Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir, his Kisauni counterpart Ali Mbogo and Mombasa speaker Aharub Khatri have been linked to the seat.

On April 12, Embrace Movement endorsed Likoni MP Mishi Mboko to succeed Joho. The endorsement, through patron Rachael Shebesh, has buoyed Mboko's political ambitions. The movement is an affiliate of the handshake team.

Businessman Suleiman Shahbal, who lost to Joho twice, former Mombasa Senator Hassan Omar and former Nyali MP Hezron Awiti, who vied for the seat in 2017, have remained mum over their next move.

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Publication:The Star (Nairobi, Kenya)
Geographic Code:6KENY
Date:Jul 26, 2019
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