Nearly two weeks after a botched assassination attempt on his life, Mombasa politician Ali Mwatsahu has recounted the harrowing ordeal which undoubtedly changed the course of his political undertakings.

It was on April 5 at around 9:30 pm when Mwatsahu was driving back home from a mosque in Bamburi after making the optional Tarawih prayers, a special invocation that Muslims only perform in the holy month of Ramadhan.

As he expertly navigated the route that he had grown accustomed to, the politician who is seeking Mvita’s parliamentary seat under a United Democratic Alliance (UDA) ticket, noticed a suspicious-looking vehicle tailing him as he arrived at Bumbululu area.

Mwatsahu didn’t give the vehicle much thought as he assumed that its occupant was probably just headed in the same direction as he was; so he continued on with his journey until he arrived at a road leading to a local polytechnic.

“As I was making a turn near Buxton Bar the vehicle that was behind me overlapped on my right and the occupant opened fire,” Mwatsahu told Nation.Africa in an interview.

The sole gunman fired four times, with what Mwatsahu made out to be a small-calibre weapon, prompting the politician to swiftly take cover under his car seat, despite his large build.

Not one to be deterred, the assailant would soon fire numerous shots at Mwatsahu’s vehicle, this time using a high-calibre weapon, which the politician noticed owing to its deafening muzzle blast.

“As I was taking cover, I realised that my vehicle was covering the assailant’s car in such a way that the gunman could not be seen by persons who were in the vicinity,” recalled Mwatsahu.

“I stepped on the accelerator pedal and moved some metres away leaving the gunman and his vehicle out in the open. It is here that he decided to flee and leave me be after noticing that people could see him and his vehicle clearly.”

Mwatsahu sustained a total of 13 gunshot wounds during the chilling ordeal that could have easily claimed his life were it not for his quick thinking.

As he exited his vehicle, riddled with bullets, Mwatsahu pleaded with Tuk-Tuk operators who were at the scene to rush him to hospital but only one obliged. The rest were still shocked by what had just transpired and that someone survived that ordeal.

“I was taken to Aga Khan Hospital where doctors were able to stop the bleeding after which they focused on determining how many bullets were in my body. The doctors were able to remove 12 of them,” he said.

Despite considering himself lucky to be alive, Mwatsahu who reckons that the attempt on his life was politically motivated, stated that he was undeterred and that he would still pursue Mvita’s parliamentary seat as an independent candidate.

“Even the retired president Mwai Kibaki was handed the presidency when he was in a wheel chair. So I will also get the seat with all these bullet wounds. I am ready to battle it out for the seat,” he said.

“I will continue campaigning as soon as my doctor declares me fit to do so and I will do this with individuals who are ready to work with me.”

Mwatsahu is seeking to change the fortunes of Mvita constituency by bringing more jobs opportunities for the entire community and not just for the youth in the area.

He likewise wants to revive cottage industries, fight poverty and ensure that his constituents are not overlooked when it comes to bursary allocation, irrespective of their tribal backgrounds.


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