Campaigns for the Msambweni parliamentary by-election slated for December 15 have intensified ahead of the mini-poll with candidates traversing the constituency in search of support.
At least eight candidates are in the race for the Msambweni seat that fell vacant following the death of area MP Suleiman Dori in March.
Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party flag bearer Omar Boga and independent candidate Feisal Bader are seen as the front runners and favourites to win the seat.
Others in the race are Charles Bilali (Independent), Marere Wamwachai (National Vision Party), Hassan Mwakulonda (Party of Economic Democracy), Mahmoud Sheikh (Wiper Party) and Khamis Mwakaonje (United Green Movement) and Mansury Kumaka (Independent).
Boga is a former civic leader and a brother to Agriculture Principal Secretary Professor Hamadi Boga while Bader is a cousin and former personal assistant to the late MP.
Lunga-Lunga MP Khatib Mwashetani and his Kinango counterpart Benjamin Tayari are leading campaign teams for independent candidate Bader while Mombasa County Governor Hassan Joho has literally camped in Msambweni to drum up support for Boga.
Mwashetani who toured Kibundani and Mkwakwani areas on Tuesday urged the electorate to come out in large numbers and vote for the independent candidate.
“Bader will ensure that education for the children of Msambweni is guaranteed and there is equitable distribution of resources across the constituency,” he said.
Mwashetani has urged the electorate to vote for Bader to guarantee continuity of Msambweni development plans in honour of the late legislator.
Governor Joho who is also the ODM deputy party leader has been tirelessly campaigning for Boga with the central message being the “pro-handshake and BBI candidate” and that he will spearhead the national government’s development agenda once elected.
Joho described the campaigns as peaceful contending that his party’s nominee stands a good chance of scooping the seat.
“The late MP Dori was a member of ODM and so far we are happy with the reception from the people of Msambweni,” said Joho expressing confidence that ODM will retain the seat.
Kwale County Governor Salim Mvurya has urged the parliamentary hopefuls and political parties to conduct peaceful and issue-based campaigns ahead of the by-election.
The county boss is also urging the candidates to desist from utterances that have the potential to promote disunity and hatred.
“As the campaigns intensify, our plea to the political players is to exercise tolerance and refrain from negative utterances that could inflame passions and disrupt the peace that we enjoy,” cautioned Mvurya.