Tension is brewing among deputy president William Ruto’s allies in the coast region, as a section of leaders accuses the second in command’s point man Omar Hassan of sidelining them in the 2022 poll plans.
The former Mombasa Senator reportedly nearly exchanged blows with United Democratic Alliance activist Mohammed Salim alias Thenge at a Coast leaders meeting attended by the DP in Kilifi county a fortnight ago.
The DP was in the region for an economic regeneration forum.
The forum brought together legislators and professionals from the six counties in the Coast.
The meeting offered the local leaders a platform to outline the region’s economic plan with emphasis on tourism, maritime economy and land ownership challenges.
Omar, was among the leaders, who were coordinating the DP’s retreat held at Sun-and-Sand Resort in Kilifi.
Sources in the know revealed that the ex-senator was confronted by Thenge when he attempted to stop him from accessing the venue.
A heated exchange ensued as Thenge accused Omar of attempting to personalise the DP, yet he was among people who had tried to bring the DP down in the past.
He dragged Omar into Ruto’s woes at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, where he had been charged with several counts of crimes against humanity.
Omar is a former member of the Kenyan National Human Rights Commission (KNHRC). He was among the lead investigators Louis Ocampo used to collect information and evidence against Ruto and President Uhuru Kenyatta over the 2007/8 post-election violence.
Thenge claimed Omar is a political liability to the DP as he is a divisive character.
He added that the former lawmaker has little chance of winning the Mombasa gubernatorial seat after a failed attempt in 2017, further doubting his ability to deliver coast votes to Ruto.
An angry Omar hit back, saying, “Usiniletee ushoga wewe”.
He accused Thenge of being a gatecrasher who had not been invited to the meeting.
Security at the venue had to intervene as the exchange nearly degenerated into a physical fight.
The bitter rivalry between the two leaders didn’t end there as Thenge is said to have later attacked Omar at one of the FM radio stations in Mombasa.
He vowed to ensure Omar is rejected by the Mombasa people in the 2022 gubernatorial contest.
“How can a tenant seek to expel the landlord?” posed Thenge.
Thenge claimed Omar was favouring Wiper proponents at the expense of genuine Ruto Coast supporters.
It was not immediately clear if the incident caught the attention of Ruto who is said to have been metres away.
Thenge, who has unsuccessfully contested for the Mvita parliamentary seat severally, is among leaders opposed to Omar taking a leading role in the Ruto camp ahead of 2022.
Omar and Nyali MP Mohamed Ali have been tasked by the DP to deliver the coast votes to the hustler nation in the elections scheduled for August next year.
Among the duo’s major roles is to politically neutralise Mombasa governor Ali Hassan Joho, a fierce critic of Ruto.
Omar’s critics claim the former senator has sidelined them in favour of his team.
Omar and the Nyali legislator are accused of sidelining those who have supported the DP for many years.
Reports indicate that Jomvu Kuu MCA, Athman Shebe, and her counterpart Faith Mwende of Kipevu ward, also said to be leaning towards Ruto of late, are being viewed suspiciously.
Together with other MCAs, Charles Kitula (Frere Town), Abrary Mohammed (Kongowea) and Kombe Nzai of Kadzandani, they are all said to be busy chasing the DP’s money.