Nairobi women representative Rachel Shebesh and nominated Senator Beatrice Elachi welcoming Mombasa deputy governor Hazel Katana to the Jubilee Party at Lohar Hall, Mombasa county, 28.1.2017. /ELKANA JACOB
Mombasa deputy governor Hazel Katana on Saturday defected from Odm to the Jubilee party.
Hazel launched her bid for Mombasa Senator after abandoning Governor Hassan Joho’s ODM outfit.
Her move is likely to be a big blow to Joho who deputises ODM leader Raila Odinga.
Hazel said she was left in the cold in ODM.
“The turning point was last year when I realised I was not part of the team,” she said.
She asked Governor Joho to respect her decision.
Director of communication, Mombasa county Richard Chacha said her defection to Jubilee was a relief to the party.
“We are not interested in sideshows. We are focused on winning the August 8th elections both in the county and national level,” Chacha told the Star on phone.
A group of Jubilee women leaders from different parts of the country including Senators and MPs welcomed her to Jubilee at At Lohar Hall, Mombasa.
“This journey started last year,” Hazel, who at one time was overwhelmed with emotions and broke down in tears, said.
Nairobi woman representative Rachael Shebesh said that they started courting Hazel one year ago, even before her troubles with Joho started.
The deputy governor was temporarily ejected from her office during last year’s Malindi by-election campaigns, after she was accused by the ODM leadership in Mombasa of campaigning for Jubilee.
Her official car was withdrawn and her office furniture taken away.
The same were later returned to her.
The county denied the claims of the deputy governor’s ejection.
Senator Beatrice Elachi also claimed that Hazel has not been receiving her salary for the last one year.
However, Chacha told the Star that the deputy governor is only playing politics.
“Where has she been for the last one year if she was not receiving her salary? Is it now that she has realised?” Chacha posed.
Other Jubilee leaders who had accompanied Hazel were; Nominated Senator Mshenga Mvita, Kwale woman representative Zainab Chidzuga, Nominated Senator Emma Mbura, Nominated MP Sonia Birdi, Jubilee politician Suleiman Shah balls wife Rahma, among others.
The leaders also paraded other defectors from ODM including Mildred Odinga, who was a co-ordinator at ward level.
Chidzuga, Mbura and Mvita said the defection of Hazel to Jubilee has strengthened the party in Mombasa.
She becomes the second deputy governor to defect from a party that sponsored her to office.