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Journalists’ election win silences monied rivals

When investigative journalist Mohamed Ali declared his intention to vie for the Nyali parliamentary seat, many people including colleagues in the media industry dismissed him as a non-starter.

However, that did not deter Mr Ali of the Jicho Pevu fame from pursuing his ambition of representing the people of Nyali in the National Assembly.

Mr Ali, 36, proved his sceptics wrong on Wednesday night when he was declared Nyali MP-elect by the constituency returning officer, Ms Mwanajuma Ali.

Speaking to the Nation at the constituency tallying centre the journalist said he had to work extra hard to battle it out with individuals with money during his campaigns.

PROPAGANDA

Mr Ali, who is a recipient of the Head of State Commendation from former President Mwai Kibaki, said that some of his competitors used propaganda to ensure that he did not win the parliamentary seat.

“There was a lot of propaganda and intimidation against me and my supporters,” he said, adding that his supporters had also been attacked by some of his political rivals.

Mr Ali vied for the parliamentary seat as an independent candidate after he lost, in the ODM primaries, to Mr Said Abdalla popularly known as Saidoo, a close relative of Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho.

The MP-elect, whose symbol was a lion’s eye, said he will focus more on education, eradicating drug abuse among young people and youth employment.

OTHER WINNERS

He garnered 26,798 votes against his closest challenger Mr Abdalla who got 16,473 votes. Mr Abdalla later called the MP-elect on phone and congratulated him for the win while he conceded defeat.

“Saidoo called me, accepted defeat and said he was ready to work with me,” said Mr Ali after receiving his certificate from the constituency Returning Officer.

Separately, former Nation Media Group journalist Paul Katana won the Kaloleni parliamentary seat defeating the incumbent Gunga Mwinga.

In Taita Taveta, another journalist, Mr Granton Samboja was declared governor-elect defeating the incumbent John Mruttu who was an independent candidate.

Another former NMG editor Enock Wambua won the Kitui senatorial seat.