Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho says the planned coalition between ODM and Jubilee is aimed at transforming the ‘Handshake’ into a formal pact bringing together all like-minded leaders for a united country ahead of the 2022 elections.
In an interview with Daily Nation, Joho also spoke about his presidential ambitions, the BBI, Ruto’s ‘invasion’ of the Coast region and more.
Here are the interview excerpts.
What’s ODM party’s game plan for 2022?
ODM is seeking partnerships with like-minded leaders to achieve and respond to the desires and demands of the Kenyan people.
Just like any other party that is seeking partnerships with others, we also have a right to do the same.
We’ve had stability in the country since the Handshake, and because we have seen its success, it is only fair that we concretise it going into the future.
That can only be achieved by way of a coalition that is concretised on pen and paper.
Yes. If anything, we have partnered with Jubilee for the past three years and so we want to formalise what we have been doing.
So, those making noise should join the conversation if they really want to live the dream of an inclusive Kenya.
Let’s stop the politics of “it’s either me or nobody”.
This is not true. Our 2017 agreement was crystal clear that we would only back one of the Nasa parties if we won the elections. That was our arrangement. We did not capture power, and so we have to be realistic with the mood of the moment.
We cannot go on with an earlier arrangement when the dynamics have shifted. You don’t go to every election with the same strategies.
To ensure peace and stability in the country, we agreed to support and work with one another on the MoU between Raila and Uhuru.
A presidential election is more than being endorsed. It’s not like a wedding ceremony. Participating and winning are two different things.
A: I have what it takes to fly the party flag in the coming election and I will be participating in the nominations.
However, whoever succeeds — we have all agreed — will be supported by all of us because we are committed to the cause of the party.
We don’t run because of individual interests, but believe in the party ideology and manifesto.
Anyone of us has the ability to implement the manifesto and ideology of ODM.
For our party leader, he has the right to declare his interest any time he deems fit.
I don’t want to engage on that through the media, but there are things we are doing on the ground through ODM.
I assure you, Coast region shall remain in ODM come 2022. Watch this space.
I don’t want to engage on that. I’m a member of ODM and that’s our party of choice. We shall continue to advance its ideologies.
Time will come for Mombasa politics on who to succeed me as governor.
It is not yet time for taking positions, and furthermore, the party has mechanisms of picking its candidates.
BBI is still alive. We cannot wish it away yet because it still has a chance at the Court of Appeal.
As I said, BBI is still alive. We will only shift the conversation when BBI is completely dead. However, we must not deviate from the main agenda here, which is unity of the country. That is our major concern, and not leadership positions.
Each political party is formed for the purpose of capturing power. Of course we are eyeing the top seat, which is the president, but this is the work of the technical committee which has been formed to work on the finer details of the agreement. Let’s not jump the gun.
I have said it before that the presidency is not given to anybody. Kenyans have the ultimate power to elect a president. You cannot win by waiting for an endorsement, that’s why I have decided to throw myself in the ring. I am confident that my party leader will back my bid should I clinch the ticket. Should he beat me, I have made it clear that I will also stand by him. We are looking at the bigger picture.
No. Postponing elections is not within our plans, but those advancing this are entitled to their opinions.
As far as I am concerned, the elections will be held on August 9, 2022.