Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho has traveled to the United States of America to hold talks with top officials of President Donald Trump’s administration.
The Governor left Kenya yesterday accompanied by a dozen officials of Mombasa County and long time lawyer Dennis Mosota. The trip was highly unexpected considering the recent all out “war on drugs” which top Jubilee officials have alluded to the Mombasa leader, even claiming he is among those not only denied entry to the United States but also “most wanted”.
Last year, the Mombasa Governor was elected presiding chair of Strong Cities Network, an organization bringing together leaders of emerging cities around the world to focus on new strategies to combating violent extremism. It is this global platform that Joho is utilizing to pitch for businesses and investments in Mombasa, a city which is coming out of a period of incessant terror attacks.
In Kenya, Joho recently pulled back the accusations on drug trafficking, telling President Uhuru to focus the war closer to his inner-circle, which is infested by druglords.
The ODM Deputy Party Leader is expected to hold talks with top officials of President Donald Trump’s administration in the Department of State and Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Those familiar with the US diplomatic policy say suspected druglords can not be given Visa and access to high ranking State officers. Already, the US staged a stinging operation and extradited two sons of slain drug baron Ibrahim Akasha wanted for drug trafficking charges alongside two foreign nationals.
Two Akasha brothers – Baktash and Ibrahim – together with their Pakistan-based associate Gulam Hussein and Vijaygiri Goswami, an Indian resident in Kenya, were flown to New York to stand trial for the production and distribution of heroin and methamphetamine across Africa.
Two weeks ago, the Standard on Sunday in a malicious story claimed that Joho was among key politicians under the radar of the US. Just two days ago Coast Regional Coordinator Nelson Marwa – a Jubilee attack dog – tried without success to link the ODM leader to narcotics trade.
A highly publicized arrest of seven lower level drug peddlers with herion and sh18 million cash netted common criminals that the police had arrested in the past and were released under unclear circumstances. Yet, a section of the press sensationally claimed one of those arrested was related to the Mombasa Governor.
Joho is keen to turn the drug war propaganda on its head, and his going to the US is seen as one among many political moves the governor is making to debunk the drug propaganda. A tough-talking Joho has in the past said insinuations by Uhuru, Ruto and Marwa that he was involved in the illegal drug business were meant to sabotage his political career.
“They did the same in 2013 and I kept quiet. But this time round, I will not shut up; I will engage them because nobody can intimidate me. I am also a man and will fight for myself,” he said.
Even more, Joho has dared Jubilee leaders peddling his name as a drug lord to arrest and prosecute him if they have any evidence on him, a development that’s yet to see the light of day.