Joho, Junet keep off Azimio rallies raising more queries

Former Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho and Suna East MP Junet Mohamed during Azimio la Umoja rally at Kasarani on August 6, 2022. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

Since Azimio la Umoja One Kenya leader Raila Odinga began public meetings to take on President William Ruto's administration, some of his key allies have been missing in action.

Azimio governors have kept off the meetings in what is believed to be a tactical retreat as they work with the government to ensure that their counties benefit from development projects.

During Ruto's recent tour of Raila’s Nyanza backyard he was welcomed by Governors Anyang Nyongo (Kisumu), Gladys Wanga (Homabay), James Orengo (Siaya) and Ochilo Ayacko (Migori) who said they were ready to work with the Kenya Kwanza government for the sake of development.

Kisii Governor Simba Arati has held at least three meetings with the President in State House, Nairobi, in what he said is seeking national government support in ensuring that mega projects in his county are actualized.

“My meetings with the President have been about him signing a Sovereign Guarantee for the Sh500 billion medical city project to be established under Kenya - United Kingdom Health Alliance and Sustainable Urban Economic Development programs,” said Arati.

ODM deputy leader Hassan Joho and National Assembly Minority Whip Junet Mohammed were permanent fixtures in Azimio rallies but have lately been missing in action.

Joho and Junet have been ardent defenders of Raila and even put on military-like fatigue during the final Azimio campaign rally where they pledged to ensure that he becomes the fifth President of Kenya but have maintained a low profile since the August 2022 General Election.

During the Azimio rally at the Jacaranda grounds in Nairobi, Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka said that they are taking stock of elected leaders who have kept off the meetings.

"We are keenly watching Azimio la Umoja allied Members of Parliament avoiding our meetings and are working with the Kenya Kwanza Alliance barely five months after being elected since they are going against the wishes of the people who elected them," said Kalonzo.

During campaigns, Joho and Junet took President William Ruto head on saying that they will ensure that he does not get elected by mobilizing millions of Azimio supporters across the country to turn up in large numbers and have Raila elected as the fifth President.

Immediately after the General Election, the two leaders were among those who faced accusations in their camp for having not played their roles effectively to ensure that the Azimio leader won the presidential election.

Azimio is currently facing turbulence after MPs allied to the Jubilee Party met President Ruto and Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua and pledged to work with them raising questions on whether they have switched their loyalty to the Kenya Kwanza government.

Nominated MP Sabina Chege has made it clear that Jubilee MPs from Mt Kenya will rally behind Gachagua who now is the region's kingpin.

“The people of Mount Kenya where I come from made a decision during the August 2022 General Election where they voted for William Ruto and Rigathi Gachagua, even though I was an Azimio La Umoja diehard during the campaigns I respect authority,” said Chege.

The Azimio leader has vowed to continue with public meetings across the country and it will be just a matter of time before the political leanings of some of his allies will come out in the open.

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