Richard Chacha, the Director of Communications and Public Relations of the County Government of Mombasa, has said Governor Ali Hassan Joho won’t, at least for now, respond to President Uhuru Kenyatta’s statement, where he (Uhuru) said that he “will teach Joho a lesson”.
President Kenyatta had on Monday, March 13, accused Joho of pestering him and interfering with his work.
The President said Joho, who was put under office arrest on Monday, should focus on dispensing his duties as governor, instead of interfering with national government projects.
“He should not play with us or else we will teach him a lesson,” President Kenyatta said at Mtongwe Channel Monday, where he re-commissioned a ferry, MV Likoni.
“We do not want to take the Uhuru-Joho standoff further than that. For now, we want the matter to rest up. Hatutaki kujibizana na Rais. However, the Governor will be responding to the President’s statement on political forums. He will be in Taita Taveta soon; maybe he will address the President’s remarks during that function,” Richard Chacha told Citizen Digital on phone.
Governor Joho was on Monday barred from accessing Mtongwe, where President Kenyatta was presiding over the re-launching of Mtongwe ferry.
Chacha says barring the governor from attending the President’s function at Mtongwe was unnecessary as Joho was not planning to disrupt or engage the President in a showdown.
“The governor did not have any intention of disrupting a function presided over by the President. The governor was to go and reignite a debate that had been there about status of ferry services and management – is it a national or devolved function? We wanted to emphasise that ferry services and management is a devolved function,” said Chacha.
“As governor of Mombasa and issues affecting the people of Mombasa, he needed to be there (Mtongwe). We did not intend to go and disrespect the President; we did not want to disrupt the function. All we wanted to do is be present – as an obligation,” added Chacha.
I RESPECT UHURU: JOHO
Governor Ali Joho has denied disrespecting the President in recent public forums.
“People have accused me of insulting President Uhuru Kenyatta. I have never done that. I was raised by parents who instilled discipline in me. I cannot abuse anyone,” Joho said in his office in Mombasa on Tuesday, March 14.
Joho’s statement was echoed by Richard Chacha. Chacha said: “The governor has never disrespected the President. All his statements are factual. The first time sections accused the governor of disrespecting President Kenyatta was when he (Uhuru) came to Waitiki in Likoni. The President had not informed the governor he will be visiting – as protocol demands. It is a matter of courtesy for the governor to go receive him at the airport, just like it happens in other counties.
“The second time the governor was accused of disrespect was when we were at Bamburi and he (Joho) said that the President should not launch a project that was donor-funded and was initiated during the grand coalition government. People see what Jubilee has done. And that is it! Where’s the disrespect? Nothing in the issues I have outlined qualifies as disrespect, if you ask me.”
WHY JOHO WAS BARRED FROM ACCESSING MTONGWE: CHACHA
“I think the President barred Joho from attending the re-launching of Mtongwe ferry because he feared the governor would openly fault him (Uhuru) over what he said on Saturday – that the county government has so far been allocated Ksh 40 billion since 2013. That is not true, the county government has received Ksh 17 billion from the National Treasury. Joho wanted to put that record straight. Perhaps Uhuru feared Joho will use that occasion to engage him. That is our suspicion,” said Chacha.
President Kenyatta had accused Joho of failing to develop Mombasa, and asked Joho to account for KSh40 billion allocated to the county as equitable share.
“Our intention is to work closely with Uhuru. There is no way the county government can work independently from the national government. Our position is to collaborate with Uhuru. We do not intend to engage the President in the manner that we have seen. Our bottom-line is to deliver to the people who elected the government,” added Chacha.