Junet question: Raila jumps to defence of ally

Reports of divisions in Azimio and ODM continued to shroud opposition chief Raila Odinga’s tour to consolidate his support base at the Coast.

On Tuesday, Raila admitted rivalry in ODM amid raging debate over the future of Suna East MP Junet Mohamed in the outfit, terming it a difference of opinions.

At the same time, the ODM leader sustained attacks on the Kenya Kwanza regime, claiming President William Ruto’s quest to capture the Judiciary and Parliament was now complete.

He said Kenyans should brace for return of dictatorship, adding that it was time for all patriots to defend the Constitution and democracy.
“After poaching Azimio MPs to gain a super-majority in Parliament and threatening the Judiciary, Ruto is now in control of all arms of government,” said Raila.

Raila said Chief Justice Martha Koome “dropped the guard” on constitutionalism by meeting Ruto in State House. He said she should have met with MPs, the people’s representative.

“The meeting between the Judiciary and President should have been held through Parliament, not in State House,” said Raila in a rally at Hola Stadium in Tana River.

Before the rally, Raila met Tana River ODM delegates, where he said reports of two factions in ODM over future of Junet were just a difference of opinion.

He said the Suna East MP was in ODM to stay as the party’s director of election and a key cog in Azimio la Umoja.

“Junet has not gone anywhere; Junet is not going anywhere. It is normal, even in the house or home, for a husband and wife to have differences. Junet is director of the election,” said Raila.
Mr Junet and his political ally, former Mombasa Governor Hassan Ali Joho, have been conspicuously absent from Raila’s tour at the Coast that started on Sunday.

On Sunday, Joho took to X to defend Junet following a barrage of attacks from other ODM leaders. “Completely unnecessary and uncalled for!” stated Joho on his X account.”

Mr Joho emerged at Raila’s birthday party in Malindi on January 7, after he disappeared from ODM after the August 2022 loss to President William Ruto.

During Raila’s birthday celebration, Joho declared that he would vie for the presidency on ODM ticket in 2027. He said he was out of the country for personal reasons.

“I’m in ODM and ready to offer myself to vie for the presidency in 2027,” said Joho in what analysts have christened ODM’s old network.
Yesterday, Coast Galole MP Hiribae Said Buya said ODM cannot afford to allow Junet to defect or be ejected by disgruntled party members.

He said Junet played a key role in mobilising votes for Raila and ODM candidates, adding that the party leadership should resolve issues existing between him and other ODM leaders.

“I remember that it was Junet who campaigned for us and the party. Whatever differences exist should be solved because he is an important part of our party,” said Buya.

Last week, Malindi MP Amina Mnyanzi also asked Raila to make sure Joho was also involved in the campaign to revitalise the party’s grassroots support at the Coast. 

Tana River Governor Dhadho Godhana said Raila has been tested and retested and that it was time for Kenyans to rally behind him to remove Ruto in 2027 elections.

“We should not fool ourselves that there is someone else in 2027. Raila has all the qualities and strength to lead this country,” said Godhana.