Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho maintained a cautious but courteous distance during his meeting with President Uhuru Kenyatta in Mombasa this last week.
The head of state has been in Mombasa for over a week during which he has met various groups including several politicians.
It is also during his stay that he sacked Deputy Inspector of Police Grace Kaindi and replaced her with John Kitili.
On the political front, the head of state met and held a joint public forum with his nemesis Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho.
The two politicians have been at loggerheads ever since President Uhuru posted County Commissioner Nelson Marwa as head of security in the county. Joho last year bitterly told off Marwa, warning him against meddling in Mombasa politics. It is during the tiff that he referred to Marwa as ‘mtu mdogo sana’.
He also took issue with extra-judicial killings, blaming President Uhuru of targeting Muslim youths and sheikhs even without credible terror intelligence. So low had the relationship between the two leaders reached that Mombasa County was openly being sabotaged by the national government.
For instance, the county has been the last to receive county funds allocation from the national treasury in a ploy Gov. Joho believed was as a result of his differences with the national government. He also faced court cases involving his academic degree which was being pushed by a well known Jubilee operative.
This past week, however, Joho and the President appeared to have buried the ‘hatchet’, with the ODM Deputy Party leader joining the president in launching several projects in the county. However, unlike Kilifi North MP Gideon Mung’aro and Kwale Women Representative, Gov. Joho’s meeting with Uhuru did not translate to any endorsement, as the governor kept off any political talk during his meetings with the President.
Governor Joho is the ODM Deputy Party Leader, which puts him as the second most powerful politician in ODM after Raila Odinga.