Mombasa tycoon and politician Suleiman Shahbal on Tuesday, April 19 met his supporters to explain why he dropped his gubernatorial bid.
The supporters demanded to understand his decision to shelve his gubernatorial bid in favor of Mvita MP Abdulswamad Shariff.
Shahbal exited the governorship race following a deal brokered by ODM leader Raila Odinga.
Sources privy to the discussions indicated that Shahbal had refused to step down forcing the intervention of President Uhuru Kenyatta who is Azimio la Umoja chair.
“After it was clear that he would not budge. Baba (Raila) made a call to President Uhuru who talked Shahbal out of the race. He had no option really.
“He found himself between the sitting president and the possibly incoming president. He had no option. He is also a businessman whose empire thrives on the goodwill of the government,” a source was quoted by Standard.
However, the decision has been met by resistance from Shahbal’s ardent supporters who want him to contest as an independent candidate after being denied an ODM ticket.
“Nataka kumwambia Suleiman Shahbal, alikua anataka ugavana, na nguvu anazo, mbona hakusimama mwenyewe atutafute sisi? Why didn’t he look for us tuje tumfanyie campaign?
“Kama ni hivyo, ungetuitia Raila kwanza, ungewaita hiyo team yao kwanza tukakaa nao sio uamuzi wako hup ni uamuzi wetu,” a supporter said amid wild cheers from the audience.
Another supporter wondered why Raila and his team had to pick their preferred candidate for the race and not the residents.
“Kwa nini viongozi watuchagulie viongozi? Kwa nini sisi wananchi hatuna right ya kuchagua viongozi ambao tunataka? Mheshimiwa, I feel pain, I can’t lie and I’ll never lie,” she said.
Shahbal is yet to give the way forward whether he will contest for the seat as an independent candidate or support Abdulswamad.
Watch the Shahbal’s meeting with his supporters courtesy of Nation below.
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