A FORMER Hounslow taxi driver has withdrawn from the Kenyan presidential race to focus on a new mission.
Jaffer Isaak, who still has a home in Standard Road, Hounslow, revealed he was stepping down last week - four months after declaring his candidacy.
The 38-year-old father-of-three vowed to focus instead on bringing peace to his troubled hometown of Moyale, on Kenya's northern border with Ethiopa.
He described the decision, which follows a month of bloodshed in Moyale he said had left at least 15 people dead, as one of the hardest he has ever had to make.
But he told the Chronicle he felt he could work more effectively outside of politics to unite warring tribes in the region.
Mr Isaak, who worked as a taxi driver for AZA Cars in Bath Road, Cranford, before launching his own cab firm, J&Z Executive Travel, plans to return to Kenya to spread the message of peace.
"The last few months have been difficult but I've really enjoyed them and feel I now understand my country better than ever," he said.
"This was a very difficult decision to make but people are being slaughtered and the government's doing nothing.
"I believe I can do more to end tribal differences and save lives from outside politics.
"It's about time we acted as Kenyans first and relinquished the pride in tribes, which has been our downfall since gaining independence."
Mr Isaak added that he felt money, or the lack of it, was his biggest obstacle to becoming president. He refused to rule out standing in future elections.
Kenya's presidential elections are due to take place in August, with Kenyan prime minister Raila Odinga the frontrunner to replace Mwai Kibaki, according to recent polls.
Mr Isaak told the Chronicle in August how he hoped to tackle corruption in his native country, where he said politics was decided on tribal lines with candidates often buying people's votes.
The Kenyan government admitted in December 2010 it could be losing nearly a third of the national budget - up to £2.5billion a year - to corruption.