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Political Entertainment In Mombasa

By Nicholas Kioko



Saturday, the second day  of March,2013 was a bad day for Mombasa`s political entertainment seekers. As the sun went down, political entertainment was slowly lowered to it`s grave by the ropes of Kenya`s constitution. The law of Kenya bans political campaigns a day before the general election.

Aware of this legality, I boarded a Likoni minibus at Bamburi and sat next to the driver to have a view of how Mombasa was behaving towards the imminent death of political campaigns. The driver seemed to be amused by free tee-shirts; free meals from politicians and peaceful campaigns. He tuned the radio on the dash board to a local radio station: the topic was the same-general elections within the context of new constitution.

Behind me, I could hear voices of men and women cursing or praising Raila, Uhuru, Kenneth, Dida, Muite, Mudavadi, Ole Kiyiapi and Karua – presidential candidates. I concluded that Raila and Uhuru must be leading other candidates, from the way the debate went.

At Mtopanga, a convoy was snailing towards Bamburi. Blaring music from massive speakers of the leading truck announced that the dancing passengers wanted Hassan Joho to be the governor of Mombasa. Every body in the vicinity was wearing an orange coloured T-shirt.

I concentrated with the peeling paint of buildings to distract my ears from the deafening sound. All available spaces on the walls of houses and electricity posts were taken by campaign posters. Coloured photographs with expectant eyes were requesting for my votes and anybody else who cared to look at them. It will take six months to clear the mess. I concluded.

 Large and small billboards appeared on the roadside of Kongowea-Bombolulu junction. They escorted our bus up to Nyali Bridge and resurfaced at Bondeni and Likoni. After Nyali Bridge, speakers from a distance of about 400 meters indicated that Shahbal Suleiman was holding a political rally at Tononoka Grounds. His objective was clear on air - to lead Mombasa as a governor.

A group of people were surrounding a van christened, JOHO TV at Buxton. At the catholic cathedral we bypassed a truck which was campaigning for Hassan Omar Hassan Sarai.

After an hour, I alighted the bus in the scorching heat, convinced that, for the next five years, Mombasa will miss political campaigns. 

  • A Nyali parliamentary contestant
  • Ali Hassan Joho's billboardr in Nyali Bridge
  • Balala's campaign vehicle
  • Hassan Omar's campaign-near catholic cathedral
  • Hassan Omar's truck-on way to Likoni
  • Jubilee team in Nyali Bridge
  • Jubilee's billboard
  • Mcharo at Nyali Bridge
  • Najib Balala,Ibrahim Khamis and Sureya Hersi's billboard
  • posters on still and moving objects

Mr. Kioko is a freelance writer based in Mombasa – Kenya. He can be contacted through Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. OR Tel.+254724616577