Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala could become the next Mombasa governor come 2017 as interim officials of Jubilee Alliance Party (JAP) want him to contest for governor Hassan Joho’s seat in next year’s elections.
In a meeting that featured JAP leaders on Wednesday, Mombasa County JAP Co-ordinator Ali Mwatsahu said officials and members are considering to make Mr Balala their party flag bearer.
The co-ordinator said they are highly considering him even though there are other stronger Jubilee candidates who desire to go for the same seat including Suleiman Shahbal who had lost in 2013.
The Jubilee leader added that Balala seems to be the most preferred of those with leadership qualifications. Ali Mwatsahu added that they will urge him to go for the seat.
This is the second time in less than a week that the name of the former Mombasa mayor is being mentioned as a potential candidate for the county’s top post.
Balala is yet to release a statement on the matter. Mombasa businesswoman and JAP activist Janet Mirobi also nodded to the proposal, citing that his political record so far is masterly.
Ms Mirobi said:
“Balala who earlier on served as both Mombasa mayor introduced a sanity in the Port city and was voted as Africa’s best performing tourism minister when he first held the post under the grand coalition government set up”.
Balala has left remarkable footprints in his political career which he started as the mayor of Mombasa, Kenya, before he vied for the Mvita parliamentary seat in 2002 general elections. The politician served as Mvita MP between 2002 and 2013.
Before then, he had served as the vice-chairman Kenya Tourism Board (KTB); Chairman All Local Government Association of Kenya and Chairman of Mombasa and Coast Tourist Association.
He later contested for Mombasa senatorial seat but lost to Hassan Omar in the 2013 contest and was later appointed to Cabinet as Mining Cabinet Secretary before being moved to Tourism.