By Beth Nyaga/Juney Karisa/Collins Anampiu
Mombasa County was brought to a three hour standstill following an impromptu office arrest of Mombasa County Governor Hassan Joho.
Joho’s escort was flagged down at the Mombasa Bridge by police officers, demanding that the governor keep off the re-opening of Mtongwe Ferry Channel.
The re-opening of the ferry services was officiated by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Joho, who was accompanied by Kisauni Member of Parliament Rashid Bedzimba, refused to back off and instead hopped onto a motorbike and headed to his office located within Mombasa CBD.
“We used a bodaboda to access the Mtongwe ferry, only to find heavily armed GSU officers who drove us back,” said Joho.
The governor expressed amusement by the government’s decision insisting that he has a right to attend any public function conducted by the head of state other than president’s party affairs.
The officers escorted the governor to his office, where they stood guard before being joined by their colleagues from the Anti-Terror Police Unit.
Speaking in his office Monday, March 13 morning, the vocal Governor claimed the move has been made to stop him from defending his Mombasa County Government over claims by the President of poor performance.
Joho has also dismissed the President’s remarks that the County Government of Mombasa has so far received Ksh 40 billion from the National Government saying that the county has only been allocated Ksh 17 billion only since 2013.
Joho said the move by the security agencies amounted to office arrest which he says was infringing on his constitutional rights.
Joho also claimed that the police instructed him to remain within his office and keep off the reopening of Mtongwe Chanel by the president.
An agitated Joho claimed that he only wished to attend the function because the county government had contributed to the refurbishing and infrastructural development of the Mtongwe ferry passage.
Joho termed reopening of Mtongwe ferry is a great move noting that it will significantly reduce time spent to commute between Mombasa Island and Mtongwe inland.
Joho says there were premeditated plans to bar him from attending Mtongwe Ferry services re-launch to be graced by President Kenyatta.
Mombasa Island was brought at a standstill after detectives mounted a heavy search on vehicles and people using Nyali Bridge.
The officers from the Presidential Escort, the Flying squad and GSU were stopping every vehicle accessing the bridge.
In a rejoinder Regional Traffic Commandant Emmanuel Okanda denied they had instructions to prevent the governor from attending the event, saying a normal police operation was taking place.
Governor Joho’s attempt to hold a parallel rally to President Kenyatta’s Jubilee Party rally at Tononoka Grounds in Mombasa was extinguished by police by denying him a permit.