Another ugly encounter looms in Mombasa today after Governor Hassan Joho said he will gatecrash the launch of the standard gauge railway by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
The launch of the flagship project will kick off Uhuru’s presidential reelection campaign in the perceived opposition stronghold of the Coast.
A major ceremony is planned to commission the project. It is not known whether Joho, his vocal critic, will be admitted or allowed to speak.
“I will storm the celebrations and tell off Kenyatta too his face during the flagging off of the SGR project,” the Mombasa governor said on Monday.
Joho, who has engaged in public spats with Uhuru, said he will use the occasion to reveal how the Jubilee administration “inflated the cost of the SGR by Sh100 billion to benefit cartels”.
The Coast kingpin and ODM deputy party leader said the President must be told in no uncertain terms how his administration has presided over massive misappropriation of public resources.
“I’m my own man. I don’t fear anybody. My fate lies with my creator, God, not human beings,” Joho said at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University grounds in Bondo constituency.
Joho warned that he will not toleratet any attempt by security forces to block him from the SGR launch as they did during Uhuru’s relaunch of the Mtongwe Ferry on March 13.
He was put under “office arrest” for most of the the day until Uhuru left for State House, Mombasa. Heavily armed police officers also kept Joho’s supporters at bay.
Early last year, Uhuru crossed swords on January 5 during the opening of the Buxton Footbridge in Mombasa. Uhuru took state credit. Johoi said it was a World Bank project.
Joho yesterday said he will not be cowed into relenting in his war on corruption “being perpetuated by the Jubilee administration”.
He said he is willing to “go to the stake” to take Uhuru and DP William Ruto head-on in the August 8 polls.
“I will expose lies peddled by the Jubilee administration,” he said. “I know a similar predicament to block me might happen again.”
Joho dared Uhuru and Ruto to arrest him “before or after [I] exposing their corrupt practices surrounding the SGR”.
He urged Kenyans not to reelect the duo, saying they have failed to tackle the rising cost of living. “The skyrocketing prices of basic commodities leave wananchi at the mercies of cartels,” Joho said.
He has assembled a team of “vibrant firefighting youths” to travel the country and consolidate support for NASA presidential candidate Raila Odinga.
The team also includes Suna East MP Junet Mohamed, Turkana Governor Josphat Nanok, Emkaksai East MP candidate Babu Owino and Mbita MP Milly Odhiambo, among others.
“We will ensure Uhuru ends up in the opposition,” Joho added.
Joho said he is tired of harassment by state operatives. The state has gone after his family businesses, KRA has wanted his bank accounts frozen. His academic papers have been probed.
He said Jubilee can use all the state machinery to try and silence him from speaking about its ills. “But as long as my mouth is open, I’ll continue spitting venom against their misdeeds”.
Joho was accompanied by Siaya Senator James Orengo, MPs Gideon Ochanda (Bondo), Oburu Oginga (nominated), Junet and Gladys Wanga (Homa Bay).