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The Unsung Hero Who Secured Baba’s Bedroom

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Junet Mohammed Watches as Raila casts his vote [PHOTO COURTESY]

Unconfirmed reports have intimated to us that Tanga Tanga spent more than Ksh 200 million to campaign in Kibra. Now that is a very huge amount of money that can sway even the most informed of voters. Kibra is the poorest constituency in Nairobi, meaning such money could have done even worse.

In fielding former Harambee Stars midfielder MacDonald Mariga, a man who couldn’t even vote for himself, Ruto had only one strategy in mind; voter bribery.

Kenyan politics are never fair, voter bribery has been and will always be the norm. ODM petitioned IEBC to investigate alleged voter bribery that was happening at Ruto’s Karen residence but the commission did nothing. Raila’s party couldn’t just sit and wait for Tanga Tanga to raid their bedroom.

Immediately after Imran Okoth emerged victorious in the party primaries in September, the former Prime Minister announced that Suna East MP Junet Mohammed would take charge of the campaigns in Kibra.

Baba was not ready for what had happened in the previous by-elections where Edwin Sifuna and James Orengo had failed to deliver the Embakasi South and Ugenya seats.

Junet came up with a simple plan to ensure Ruto wasn’t going to have his way in Kibra. In October, during an ODM rally at DC Grounds, the Suna East MP asked Kibra residents to burn anyone seen bribing voters in the area.

“The law doesn’t allow voter bribery in our land so if you get them bribing, please get a tyre over their heads and burn them up,” he told a charged crowd.

There was an uproar on social media after the rally, with a section of netizens calling for the arrest of the National Assembly Minority Whip, especially after he threatened to lead youths to Karen and burn the DP’s residence.

But if nobody was speaking against the bribery going on in Kibra then why speak against the measures taken by children to protect their father’s bedroom?

It was this hardline stance, that laid the foundation for Imran’s win on Thursday. Junet ensured that the playing ground wasn’t going to be fair if the opponents had an undue financial advantage.

On Thursday morning, Junet announced on social media that he was aware of some people receiving money from Ruto’s Weston Hotel. The money was to be used to bribe voters at different polling stations in the constituency. He, however, said they had elaborate contingency plans for this.

At around 10AM, Baba went to vote at the old Kibera Primary School, Junet Mohammed was present. Raila asked Kibra voters to protect the bedroom from outsiders.

“We are in our bedroom and I want to ask our people to protect our bedroom against infiltrators and outsiders,” Raila said.

This was call to action for Junet and his team to ensure no voter bribery occurred in the constituency. According to blogger Robert Alai, Raila had given Junet instructions to form the ‘Voter Protection Unit’ which delivered instant justice to anyone got bribing voters.

Several people were on the receiving end of this group. Though it has been accused of intimidating voters, no one is talking about the voter bribery that was witnessed across several polling stations.

In the words of Junet Mohammed, Kibra is the last line of defence for Raila Odinga. It controls what other strongholds will do. It should be protected with everything possible. Junet is the man who does what needs to be done to get the job done.

He was the only politician present during the famous handshake between Raila and President Uhuru Kenyatta in March last year. In fact, the only other person who accompanied Baba was his daughter Raila Odinga.

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