By Osugo Moseti
A leaked assassination attempt on Suna East Member of Parliament Junet Mohamed irked his supporters as word went round of the devious ploy yesterday late in the night.
Junet, a rising political force in South Nyanza because of his steadfast loyalty to ODM party ideals and party leader as well as impeccable record in use of CDF (Suna East was recently voted number three in best use of CDF by the Institute of Fiscal Management in devolved units) has not been in working relationship with Migori governor Okoth Obado.
The differences of the two politicians are both political and economic. Junet, despite being a politician is also a successful businessman within Migori county having build his transport and petroleum and stores businesses over the last twenty years when Obado was still a form one physics teacher in a district level secondary school within the county.
In terms of political seniority, Junet is senior to Obado, having been elected both councillor and later Mayor of Migori in 2002 and 2004 respectively. However, Obado became the governor of Migori in 2013, which now makes him, administratively, the highest ranking politician in Migori county.
This arrangement worked well until Obado got this weird idea of competing with Raila. It started last year, and was propelled by Jubilee in part, URP wing to be specific, when Odinga lost the 2013 elections to Uhuru, an election whose outcome is still steeped in controversy and dispute as to who really won, following revelations of chicken eating IEBC officials as well as other factors, including military interference.
Obado, like Rongo’s Dalmas Otieno, is part of a group of politicians from South Nyanza still hallucinating about going it alone, meaning, either forming their own parties or ‘working’ with the government of the day. In their drunken stupor, they imagine of Nyanza without Odinga, a historical eventuality that is only feasible when the son of Jaramogi Oginga Odinga is immortalised in high heavens.
Junet, on the other hand, is a staunch ODM party hawk. Apart from John Mbadi of Suba currently, Junet is among the most passionate legislators on the ODM ticket in Bunge from South Nyanza. To rub it, he is a personal friend to the ODM party leader, whom he rightly feels has nurtured him into politics and matured him with time, from a councillor to now an elected MP.
His support of Odinga is more of returning a decade old favour in a political environment where leaders often forget who pushed them up. And in ODM, such leaders are not in short supply. No need for names.
For Obado, his anger towards Junet is explainable. Going into another election with its own dynamics, it is not automatic that he will again weather an opposition from ODM and retain his seat on a PDP ticket, or whichever formation of Kalausi he intends to use in 2017. Matters have been made worse by the tactical elevation of Hon Junet as the new Director of Elections for ODM which puts the Suna East MP in a position of considerable influence when it comes to who will get the party’s nomination certificate and who will not.
Already, sources close to the Suna East leader indicate a tectonic shift in Migori grassroots leadership is tilting towards him, as MCAs keen to have favour with the ODM party begin to ‘make peace’ ahead of 2017. In this group also ranks potential aspirants for the parliamentary seats. So frustrating is this new development to Obado that he is said to be in dread of an ouster motion, as MCAs would want to demonstrate their loyalty to ODM.
In Junet, Obado also finds an added headache of having to also deal with a leading parliamentary lawmaker and self-made politician. Witty, easygoing with a knack to strike the right chords with a massive youth population within the ranks and file of ODM, Junnet is a maverick politician, an idea whose due date is still unknown, despite already being.
And dynamics favour him.
Among the MPs of Migori county, with Dalmas having crossed over to government, Uriri’s Eng. John Kobado lost in his new world, Awendo’s Jared Opiyo not being an ODM MP, Suna West’s Obiero Ndiege still stuck in the age of provincial administration with a fixed KANU mindset and Nyatike’s Edick Anyanga making his millions in unknown ways, Junnet has been the public face of the true emotions of a great number of ODM supporters far bigger than his own constituency.
He is seen as a county and regional leader, and is as popular in Migori as he he is in Homa Bay or Kisumu, which makes him a potent political force to reckon with.
In fact, it is not farfetched to conclude that had it not been for the little matter of his ethnicity, being of somali origin in a predominantly Luo backyard, the democrat from Suna East would have been the next big thing in Luo politics after Raila Odinga, if only he was some Hon. Ochieng’ Oluoch.
So, with all these elements knitted in one man, it shouldn’t escape you why an opponent would consider a ‘mortal blow’, the last safe move in the chess of politics.
Osugo Moseti is an ODM blogger