Raila: Junet Mohammed did not squander Azimio agents cash

Raila Odinga, Hassan Joho, Junet Mohamed

From left: Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho, ODM leader Raila Odinga and Suna East MP Junet Mohamed in Dubai  in July. PHOTO | FILE


Azimio La Umoja One Kenya leader Raila Odinga has defended his campaign secretariat which has come under sharp criticism for not protecting the coalition's presidential votes.

Following the former Prime Minister's defeat by President-elect Dr William Ruto during the August General Election, bitter exchanges have dominated his camp with his lieutenants pointing fingers at each other for the loss.

Some of the key figures who have suffered attacks majorly on social media are Suna East MP Junet Mohammed, who is also the Azimio Secretary General, former Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho and Azimio Secretariat chief executive officer Elizabeth Meyo. 

The trio have been accused accused of bungling the election by failing to deploy enough agents across the country, in what the Raila Campaign secretariat says is lies and borders on defamation.

 Mr Odinga through his presidential campaign spokesperson Prof Makau Mutua said his team delivered on their mandate hence should not be attacked for Azimio's presidential loss.

Despite being vindicated by the Supreme Court judgment, the Azimio honcho says that the elections were mismanaged by the electoral agency hence the issue of agent deployment does not hold.

"For now, I want to address one particular issue that has been misunderstood and is being used maliciously. This is the matter of the recruitment and management of agents. The issue was managed by a dedicated and hardworking team. Our view is that the staff did a largely successful job in a challenging environment,"

"Importantly, let me state clearly that the issue of agents was not the cause of a bungled election. We must appreciate that it is not the responsibility of candidates to protect the vote, or conduct a free and fair election. That constitutional duty lies squarely with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) working in concert with relevant institutions. No one should blame Azimio or our candidates for stolen votes or a fatally flawed election," said Prof Mutua in a statement.

He added that at no point did the Suna East lawmaker handle the funds meant for agents since he was throughout with Mr Odinga in the campaign trail.

"We have seen shameful and disgusting attacks on some members of our campaign on the question of agents. Defamatory and obviously false allegations of the misappropriation of campaign funds are flying on social media. Specifically, I have seen scurrilous attacks on Junet Mohammed accusing him of misappropriating funds meant for agents. Let me state without equivocation that Mr Mohammed was a campaign lead in the field supporting Raila Odinga. He at no time even once handled funds meant for agents. Nor did Mr Mohammed have anything whatsoever to do with the management of agents," said Prof Mutua.

He added: "Those attacking in such brazen and false propaganda must cease and desist forthwith. We acknowledge there is disappointment about how the election was conducted by the IEBC and with the decision of the Supreme Court, but maliciously allegations against Mr Mohammed and any of the Secretariat staff including the CEO Elizabeth Meyo who worked so hard and selflessly should be beneath the dignity of every person. Let us get back to the business of protecting our democracy."

This comes after it emerged that Azimio had no agents more so in Mount Kenya and Rift Valley and where they were deployed, they have never been paid.