By Mbarak Abucheri
The national Muslim umbrella body Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims(SUPKEM) has postponed its Annual General Meeting(AGM) and elections by another week. The much-awaited elections for new officials to serve for five years will be held on October 23 in Nairobi.
The elections had earlier been planned for October 16 but were pushed forward for another week following a petition to the High Court by SUPKEM’s National Executive Committee (NEC) to extend the day to finalize preparations for the Annual General Meeting (AGM) and elections for new office bearers as directed by the court.
The polls will be held at Masjid Huda, South B and are expected to bring new faces to the council which for the past 13 years has not held elections.
The council chairman Prof Abdulghafur El Busaidy will not be in the race due to health reasons. The former chair of the chemistry department at the University of Nairobi has served as the chair for the national Muslim umbrella body for a period of 30 years.
He had previously served as the director of education and deputy national chairman respectively before he was elevated to the position of national chairman in 1993 following the immediate death of national chairman Sheikh Muhammad Ibrahim. The Secretary General Adan Wachu will also not be defending his seat. He took up the position in 2003 to replace Ahmed Khalif who perished in a plane crash.
Former commissioner with the Independent Electoral and Boundary Commission (IEBC) Dr. Yusuf Abdulrahman Nzibo has expressed his interest for the position of SUPKEM chairman. At present he remains the only candidate for the position.
Coast regional Coordinator Sheikh Muhdhar Khitamy will battle out for the position of Deputy national chairman currently held by Al hajj Abdullahi Kiptanui. The deputy secretary general Hassan Ole Naado is seeking to replace Wachu as the secretary general.
Ole Naado who is a front runner and most likely set to clinch the secretary’s position is credited with roles in the development of the constitution and the peace process after the 2007/8 post-election violence, through the National Youth Forum. An official at the foreign affairs ministry Adan Muhammad Maahat is also contesting for the same seat.
Others who have come to lay a claim for the seats are the director general Abdullatif Shaaban who will be facing off Abdallah Kamwana who at present is the Supkem chairman for Eastern region. Long serving organizing secretary Sharrif Hussein Omar is facing opposition from Abdullahi Salat who is the Garissa branch chairman.
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