May 30, 2015
BY BRIAN OTIENO.
The star newspaper
Mombasa politicians and businessmen are divided over a motion for Governor Hassan Joho’s portrait to be displayed in every business premise and county government office.Nyali MP Hezron Awiti yesterday termed the motion a ploy by Joho’s henchmen to portray him as king and make his image "sink in Mombasa residents’ minds permanently".“That is not acceptable. We know it is part of a premature campaign strategy,” Awiti said.
The county assembly passed the motion on Wednesday.However, Awiti, who has declared interest in Joho’s seat, said the constitution only allows the President’s portrait to be displayed as the President is a symbol of unity.Some businessmen have also questioned the motive of the motion.“We know there are crafty people in that county assembly. Maybe they will instill heavy fines for those who go against the law,” said businessman Jama Mohamed.However, Kenya National Chambers of Commerce and Industry Mombasa branch chair James Mureu supported the idea.“That is the trend in other countries. The governor is the president of the county and his image is also a symbol of unity,” said Mureu, who spoke to the Star from Bankok, Thailand.Mureu said the motion will have no financial implication on businesses.He, however, warned county officers against talking advantage of the law to harass traders.County assembly majority leader Abdallah Kasagamba denied that the motion is part of a campaign strategy for Joho's re-election.He said it is not about Joho as an individual but Joho as the governor and the governor’s office in general.Kasagamba said it is up to the county’s executive to come up with policies and a bill to ensure the operationalisation of the motion.“So far we have just passed the motion that is still a skeleton. The executive must now come up with guidelines for the implementation of the law, including fines and other details,” he said.