The race for the control of Dock Union Workers is getting hotter by the day, with two figures seeking to control the union through their pawns.
Kahawa Tungu understands that one of the figures is Grain Bulk Handlers owner Mohammed Jaffer, who has allegedly spent millions to influence the election of Majengo Warah as the secretary general for the union.
On the other hand, Mombasa governor Ali Hassan Joho’s brother Abubakar Joho has spent millions to ensure his candidate, Renson Thoya, wins the seat.
In what is coming out as a battle of the titans, Jaffer is seeking to block Thoya from the race, with the current secretary general Simon Sang being thrown into the periphery after falling out of favour.
Currently, Warah serves as the High Level Estate chairman, and Mohammed is keen to use him to increase the number of Conveyor belts for his company in the Port of Mombasa.
The Joho family is reported to be planning to enter the grain bulk business in Mombasa, and finally overthrow Mohammed who has enjoyed monopoly for sometime now.
The High Level Estate is owned by KPA, and it is one of the weak points that the Johos are likely to use to penetrate the grain business. It is thought that the Johos are seeking to lease the estate and put up a grain bulk facility, that will be detrimental to Mohammed’s business.
It is reported that Jaffer has already spent Ksh30 million in the campaigns to secure the seat, claims that Kahawa Tungu could not independently authenticate.
Jaffer is also reported to be silently sponsoring other candidates to avoid hostility incase Warah fails to clinch the seat, to avoid hostility.
The seat has attracted the interest of other ten candidates including Abubakar Abdullahi, Edward Opiyo, Harry Arigi, Kanga Maghanga, Harrison Lusigi, Omar Masumbuko, Said Chande, Athman Athman, Mohammed Mabanda and Abdullahi Siyat.
Opiyo is a former container terminal manager, but his chances of clinching the seat have been reduced following allegations of oppressing junior workers by championing removal of stackers.
Also, Opiyo is accused of being a KPA management mole. Initially, he was seen as the frontrunner in the race.
In Sang’s case, he faces a hurdle after 28 union officials were sacked in 2015, without him coming to their defense.
The elections have stalled after a group of candidates went to court after some union officials, led by Sang, decided to use the 2016 election board to conduct this year’s elections.
The National Executive Committee wants the elections conducted on June 24, while some members want the polls done on June 17.
The elections were first scheduled for April 15, then pushed to May 13, and May 20, before landing in court following a disagreement.