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Junet: I have no apologies to make for emcee job at BBI event

Sunday December 15 2019
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Suna East MP Junet Mohamed addresses ODM supporters at DC grounds on November 10, 2019 after their candidate, Bernard 'Imran' Okoth, seized the Kibra parliamentary seat. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By SAMWEL OWINO
By JUSTUS OCHIENG'

At only 26, he was already a mayor of Migori Town and bubbling with political ambitions to make it to national politics.

Born on October, 25 1977 in Migori Town, Junet is the son of Sheikh Nuh Mohamed. The current Suna East MP is serving his second term on an ODM ticket.

He was first elected Suna East MP in 2013 and re-elected on August 8, 2017, a fete which saw him become the first Kenyan Somali to be elected an MP in Nyanza.

Despite being an ethnic Somali, Mr Junet has won the hearts of Suna East voters where 95 per cent of the population are Christians and Luos.

Junet started as a nominated councillor in 2003. “I want to thank the people of Suna East for electing me; those people are very democratic because they elect you based on performance,” Mr Mohamed said.

He added his track record as a mayor where he had two stints endeared him to the people and finally got him the parliamentary seat.

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“They consider me as one of them; I attend their social functions, church services and even funerals. In addition, my home is always open to them anytime,” Mr Mohamed said.

TRUSTED ALLY

In the recent past, the political star of the father of five has been on meteoric rise and he has become one of ODM party boss Raila Odinga’s trusted lieutenants.

Mr Mohamed attributes his success to his party leader whom he has walked with for the last 21 years.

“My party leader knows everything about me politically; this is a person who has been with me throughout my life. He got hold of me when I had just finished school and I think that is why he trusts me,” he said.

He said Mr Odinga campaigned for him to be a mayor for two terms when he was 28 years and has been with him since then.

The minority whip, however, pointed out that some of his colleagues in ODM are not comfortable with his closeness to Mr Odinga but termed it ‘normal sibling rivalry’.

“You know in every house, every child is always trying to get the attention of the father and that is the same case here, but Baba knows how to make things equal.”

Without divulging the names, the MP said they are still friends and work together towards making the party strong.

HANDSHAKE

Mr Mohamed, who accompanied Mr Odinga to Harambee House during the historic handshake with President Uhuru Kenyatta, said only the party leader knows why he settled on him and not any other person.

“You know when someone is going for a journey, he is the one who chooses who to accompany him. So when Raila called me to the office to accompany him, I gladly did that. He has the best reason for that,” Mr Mohamed said.

The year has been very bright for Mr Mohamed who a fortnight ago was the master of ceremonies at Bomas of Kenya, where the Building Bridges Initiative report was being unveiled by President Kenyatta and Mr Odinga.

He told off those who criticised how he handled the event, saying their criticism is just political and does not challenge his competence.

“That was a national event and President Kenyatta and organisers were comfortable with me driving the event. Those criticising me are doing so because they are angry an ODM person was given that task. I just want to remind them that the event was not a Jubilee function but a national event,” Mr Mohamed said.

“I was very fair, the speakers came from different backgrounds, different parties and also represented gender balance,” he added.

EDUCATION HISTORY

He is the second born in a family of nine. His father settled in Migori Town where he set up a wholesale business in the 1970s.

Although the legislator has his roots in Mandera, he was born and raised in Migori.

Junet says Migori is his home and he would want to leave a legacy. The outspoken lawmaker and a staunch defender of Mr Odinga is married and professes the Islamic faith.

His wife is known as Deka Jamaa. Together the couple is blessed with five children.

Mr Mohamed did his primary education at Migori Primary School and went on to Lenana High School in Nairobi for his secondary studies, and eventually the University of Nairobi where he pursued a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.

In the 2013 nominations, the MP trounced strong candidates, who included former area MPs John Pesa and Owino Likowa, to win the ODM party ticket.

He then went ahead and beat a host of candidates to capture the seat, hived off from the former Migori constituency.

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