Suna East MP Junet Mohamed, former Mombasa governor Hassan Joho and former Kitui governor Charity Ngilu have been missing in action as Raila Odinga fights to re establish his relevance in Kenya’s fast moving political scene.
These has raised questions whether the trio which was very visible during the campaigns is still close to the ODM leader or if they went their separate ways.
Ngilu has not been seen in public since last year’s elections which Raila lost. Junet was last spotted with Raila in January when the ODM boss held talks with British High Commissioner to Kenya Jane Marriott.
Joho on his part has been active on Instagram where he has been posting photographs of himself in Dubai, The Netherlands and other places abroad.
None of the three has been seen in any of the Azimio rallies which Raila is using to pressure the government to step down insisting that he won the elections.
However yesterday when signs of cracks within ODM began to show Junet and Joho suddenly reappeared. They had lunch with Raila.
Had a refreshing lunch with my brothers. Tuko Imara!”, Raila tweeted with a photo of the two, and former Kakamega Governor Wyclif Oparanya.
“It is always good to break bread with brothers,” Joho reposted the same photo on his Facebook page.
As to why they have disappeared from Raila’s side when he needs them the most, Junet’s aide has told the Daily Nation that he no longer wants to be blamed for anything.
“The boss is around, and he continues to work closely with Jakom from the background. He has deliberately decided to take a back seat so as not to be blamed for anything. He has suffered all kinds of blame both from Azimio and Kenya Kwanza sides. If he was attending those rallies, it could be said that he is taking Baba the wrong direction,” said the aide.
Apart from the three, others who have not attended Mr Odinga’s rallies are ODM chairman John Mbadi, former Gatanga Peter Kenneth, East African Legislative Assembly (Eala) MP Kanini Kega, nominated MP Sabina Chege and several Azimio governors.
Yesterday, further cracks emerged within ODM after President William Ruto hosted MPs from Raila’s Luo backyard at State House.
The party which is part of the Azimio La Umoja coalition released a hard-hitting statement saying that it is not surprised that the MPs have decided to work with the same government it is fighting.
The meeting which took place amidst a protracted war of words between Azimio la Umoja and the Kenya Kwanza JB government was attended by nine MPs led by former Raila aide Caroli Omondi who is the current Suba South Mp.
Others present included Gideon Ochanda (Bondo), Elisha Odhiambo (Gem), Mark Nyamita (Uriri), Phelix Odiwor Jalango (Langata), Shakeel Shabir (Kisumu East, Independent), Paul Abuor (Rongo), John Owino (Awendo) and Tom Ojienda (Kisumu).
“The visit to State House this morning by a section of ODM members of parliament has not come as a surprise to the party and the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Movement. The party has been monitoring closely the behind-the-scenes activities involving some of them and today was just the climax,” said ODM.
The Raila-led party accused Ruto of spending public money to bribe ODM MPs hoping it will stop Azimio’s protest rallies.
“Since the victory of our Party Leader the Hon. Raila Odinga was stolen and the will of the people subverted after the August 9 2022 general election, some leaders have elected to undermine the leadership of the party and chosen to go against the will of the people who elected them to positions they hold,” said ODM
“Three months ago, the Azimio la Umoja leadership began rallies to push for the reclamation of its victory from the hands of the illegitimate administration in order to provide the leadership Kenyans want, but all along, we knew the enemy will not sit pretty. They have started spending stolen money to hoodwink some of our leaders with the aim of trying to scuttle our activities,” the statement added.
ODM further stated that it will not relent in its push to condemn the Ruto government for allegedly stealing Raila Odinga’s victory in the 2022 elections.
“We know that in the quest for legitimate leadership, there are those who will fall by the wayside, and some will be compromised, but the movement remains unstoppable. This is a people’s movement aimed at defending the constitution of the land. History will judge harshly leaders who want to betray Kenyans by accepting handouts to scuttle the activities of the movement,” ODM added.