Mvita MP Abdulswamad Shariff shared insights into his father’s life, Shariff Nassir, a powerful Cabinet Minister, who served during President Daniel Moi’s era. 

In a regime that was synonymous with corruption, the MP disclosed that his father strived to live an outright life and left only Ksh35,000 in his bank account upon his death in 2005. 

The Chairperson of the Public Investments Committee in the National Assembly revealed details of his late father’s life while addressing Mombasa residents in Kongowea on Sunday, October 10. 

The late Nassir, according to his son, did not leave extravagant wealth to inherit despite serving a crucial position in Mzee Moi’s Cabinet and enjoying a cordial relationship with the then Head of State.

However, he was hell-bent on ensuring his children borrowed a leaf from his simple life and upheld virtues such as honesty, integrity and being accountable to the people. 

He also raised his offspring to be independent members of society who relish hard work.

“I am the son of the late Shariff Nassir. When he died, Nassir only had Ksh 35,000 in his bank account. I believe in myself for I inherited his name – which he built from devotedly serving the people.

“It is not that I do not have the chance to amass billions, but I was taught properly that personality is more valuable than leaving money in the bank,” he stated while rallying for support in the Mombasa Gubernatorial race.

Abdulswamad hopes to run on an Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) ticket and succeed incumbent governor Ali Hassan Joho. 

Many people may find it odd that a politician of his stature, the late Nassir would spend all his wealth for the public good only to save Ksh 35,000. 

The politician had risen from a clerk job to serve as Mvita MP (for 24 years) before joining the Cabinet. During his tenure, the late Nassir was often considered the most powerful Minister from the Coast region and did not shy away from confronting his detractors.

He was the first politician who declared that Moi should ascend to the Presidency unopposed in 1978 after the untimely death of the country’s founding President Jomo Kenyatta.

Known for the slogan “Wapende Wasipende” (like it or not), the former Minister was also the longest-serving Kenya African National Union (KANU) Chairman for the Mombasa branch. 

His close relationship with the country’s second President led to several development projects in his locality including various fundraising meetings to raise money for school construction and women empowerment.

“When several KANU politicians abandoned the party during the National Rainbow Coalition (Narc) wave in the 2002 general election, Nassir remained loyal to KANU which saw him losing his Mvita parliamentary seat,” stated former Changamwe MP, Ramadhan Kajembe, in a past interview.

By Kenyans