Fire-spitting Migori boy Junet Mohammed was the designated ‘ADC’ when Raila Odinga met Uhuru for that famous handshake.He spoke about what went down, why the new deal is a big relief to his wife, and the day he feared he would be killed by police
You were with Baba when you went to see Uhuru at Harambee House. Hamkutoka na kitu? hata ya macho? Here is his interview with Standard’s DAVID ODONGO
People think we came out of Uhuru’s office with billions. We came out with nothing. (Laughs) I asked Baba, ‘Kwani tunaachwa tuu hivi bila kakitu?’
He laughed and told me, ‘Wacha siasa, let me go buy you lunch.’
Some NASA leaders have complained that they were not invited to the meeting with Uhuru…
People talk too much. They complain too much, but when you need people with courage, they run away. Somebody asked Baba why he only went with me and Winnie. Baba told him, ‘It wasn’t a secret that I am meeting Uhuru, I went with my bodyguards and driver too!’
Why is it that you were the only politician in Baba’s entourage, and even Uhuru did not have any politician around him apart from his advisers?
Officially, I had gone to see Baba in his office and he asked me to take him to Harambee House to meet Uhuru. But even if he asked me to accompany him, kuna shida gani?
How did the meeting go? Any behind-the-scene action? Did Baba and Uhuru have a shouting match before coming to an agreement?
(Laughs). Nothing like that happened. We went in and after pleasantries, Baba and Uhuru went into a room and sat alone. No one else was let into that room.
They locked themselves inside and spoke for more than two hours. Winnie and I, as well as Uhuru’s people were left outside in the waiting room tukipiga story.
They came back after two hours and they were holding hands. They then gave their communications people drafts of what they had agreed on. They wanted it typed since they wanted to address the nation together. They didn’t consult anybody.
They sat down as brothers and agreed on what’s best for Kenya. That’s how the deal was struck.
That handshake has caused a lot of divisions within Nasa. What exactly is happening?
In any marriage, the main cause of divorce is desertion. Some people deserted Baba during the swearing in. We know them. But we will wait and follow what Baba asks us to do.
Why do you admire Raila so much? What do you see in him that other leaders don’t have?
He is a great thinker and strategist. He also consults a lot. He can spend a whole day alone, without interruption thinking out things. But when he steps out, he will have thought 10 steps ahead of any political opponent.
By the way, Baba has no political opponents. An opponent is someone of your own class. No one is in Baba’s class politically.
Last year, you were arrested several times for hate speech…
That was traumatising. They came in ten vehicles with sirens blaring. And you know those people have a history of arresting people who disappear for days only to be found dead, in a forest. That’s why Orengo physically fought them so that I could be driven in his car.
He wanted to follow them whenever they wanted to take me. The second incident was when we welcomed Baba from the airport to town. Baba told me that millions of Kenyans had gone to receive him at the airport and he was ready to die.
He asked me to stay away if I feared for my life but I said no. I was next to him as we battled teargas and police thuggery.
Last year, Alfie Kipchirchir, who claims to be a police officer attached to the training college, posted pictures of bullets on social media, saying those were to be emptied in your head. Did you fear for your life?
Yes. Those people have always wanted to kill me. Right now, I can breathe easy. Even my wife was so happy after the handshake. She really suffered mental anguish.
You have had run-ins with government officers like Nelson Marwa (Former Coast County Coordinator). Are you now friends?
Marwa? Not only him, I have clashed with so many people, but that is all behind us now. We can shake hands and be friends. I have even changed my mind on what I thought about Uhuru.
He is a good man.
What about Ruto? You’ve always said some harsh things about him…
We are putting him on the wait-and-see list. We will decide his fate later.
We are like teachers, we want to see how he behaves. If he behaves and stops being naughty, we will give him good grades and promote him to the next class.
You have five children with your wife, and she still found time to be your chief campaigner in the last elections. Many Somali men never allow their wives to get mixed in politics…
My wife speaks fluent Luo. She doesn’t understand the Somali language. She was born, brought up, and schooled in Migori. She knows Migori very well, and so it was in order that she campaigns for her husband. I wouldn’t mind if any of my children joins politics.
I am a firebrand, and fire begets fire. We are people from Migori, and as Migori people, politics run in our blood.
You are the first Somali person to be a mayor for 10 years in Migori and now second-term MP. How did you achieve that?
It’s an accomplishment. I have entered the history books, thanks to the people of Migori. They are the most politically mature people in Kenya.
Factors to do with clan never came into play. It’s what I can do for them that matters. I also received support from my father, my faith, and my education at Lenana School.
Of course, there are many people who hold your hand in every phase of life. I can’t mention them all. But my father, an astute businessman, believed in me, while Lenana School made me believe everything is possible.
Do you know we have 22 sitting members of parliament who all went to Lenana School?
Aisha Jumwa said they will support Ruto and his bid for the presidency.
There’s no problem with that. But people should always keep it in their minds that voters don’t vote for them, they vote for Baba. As MPs, we just hold the votes on behalf of Baba.
If you oppose Baba, he has no time to deal with you, the voters will deal with you.
Have you also received the nude pictures on WhatsApp that most male MPs are complaining about?
Yes. Some are so shocking and I keep on deleting them. I wonder who that woman is. She is crazy!