How a Picture of Raila and I Taken by Jimi Wanjigi Ruined my Life - Sasha

  • Sasha Mbote and Raila Odinga. She spoke of the negative effects of the picture she took with the ODM leader during an interview with Lynn Ngugi on May 20, 2022
    Sasha Mbote and Raila Odinga. She spoke of the negative effects of the picture she took with the ODM leader during an interview with Lynn Ngugi on May 20, 2022
    Courtesy
  • Hotelier Sasha Mbote has recalled how her life changed after she took and posted a picture with the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader, Raila Odinga, in Zanzibar in 2017.

    Sasha stated that the picture was taken by Safina presidential aspirant, Jimi Wanjigi, after she ran into Raila and his entourage at the Park Hyatt Hotel in Zanzibar.

    Speaking during an interview with media personality, Lynn Ngugi, Sasha stated that she had stepped out in the evening after a long day at work and was having a drink at the hotel when she ran into Raila and his friends.

    Sasha Mbote during an interview with Lynn Ngugi shared on May 20, 2022
    Sasha Mbote during an interview with Lynn Ngugi shared on May 20, 2022
    Courtesy

    She stated that she was stunned to see Raila and she shouted his name. The ODM leader stood up to shake her hand and she requested if she could take a picture and show her parents.

    "I screamed Oh my God! Baba! He stood up and shook my hand and he introduced me to his people. I told him my parents will not believe that I met you, can I please take a picture with you?"

    "Jimi Wanjigi said bring your phone, he is your Baba, Baba wa Kenya. I brought my phone and he took the pictures. Baba asked where I was sitting and he told me to join them," she added.

    Sasha excused herself after meeting Raila and his team but she turned back and asked Raila if she could share the pictures on her social media pages and he had no objection whatsoever.

    "When I reached the gate, his bodyguard called me and told me not to post the pictures at the time because it was a political season but I could post the following day from 10:30am when they leave Zanzibar," she recalled.

    She proceeded to post the photo the following day as agreed and set out for her trip to Arusha, more than 700 kms from Zanzibar.

    On arrival, she switched on her phone only to receive hundreds of messages and attempted calls. 

    Sasha, who is a managing director of a tour company, stated that the messages were not kind to her as some people sent accusations through the popular social media app, Facebook. She explained that some quotas accused her of trying to sabotage Raila's campaign by trying to portray him as a unfaithful man.

    ODM leader Raila Odinga and Sasha Mbote in Zanzibar in 2017.
    ODM leader Raila Odinga and Sasha Mbote in Zanzibar in 2017.
    Courtesy

    "I was shocked at first, then I started seeing the threats. I had to leave my hotel in Arusha and went to stay at a friend's place. I was supposed to finish my business in Arusha and go to Kenya but I stopped that trip because of the threats," Sasha stated.

    The 42-year old stated that the police in Zanzibar were also looking for her and she had to leave town for another region of Tanzania called Kigoma.