Suleiman Shahbal decamps to ODM from Jubilee Party, pledges loyalty to Raila

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Former Mombasa gubernatorial aspirant on the Jubilee Party ticket in 2017, Suleiman Shaabal has joined the Orange Party. While meeting members of the Luo community on Friday, the prominent businessman said he was back home after using a rival party to try oust Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho. The Luo community form one of the largest voting blocks in the county.

“In 2017, they closed the door on me and I had no choice but to join Jubilee. But now there is the handshake. We have come back home,” the politician said on Friday.

Shabal rejoining ODM complicates the equation for Mombasa politicians who had expressed their interest to succeed Governor Hassan Joho in 2022. Among those who had declared their intention to run for the gubernatorial position is Mvita MP Abdulswamad Sharrif Nassir.

Others interested are former county secretary Francis Thoya and Deputy Governor William Kingi, and UDA’s Omar Hassan.

It is a tough balancing act for Governor Joho who has a strong relationship with business Shahbal, given his other close ally, Mvita MP Nassir is also eyeing the same seat as Shahbal. Governor Joho is the ODM Party Deputy leader.

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