A masseuse whose picture with Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Alliance presidential candidate Raila Odinga went viral in 2017 claims it ruined her life.
Sasha Mbote bumped into the former prime minister in Park Hyatt Hotel in Zanzibar.
He was at the hotel with four other men including Safina party presidential flagbearer Jimi Wanjigi.
“It was a normal day for me. In the evening, I went to a certain hotel to have a few bottles of beer. I wanted to have dinner but I looked at the time and saw it was late. So I called in the waiter and asked him to keep an eye on my table as I went to the washrooms,” she said.
Speaking to Lynn Ngugi, Sasha said Wanjigi offered to take the picture which unknown to her would go viral.
“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,” Sasha recalled.
According to the businesswoman, Raila’s bodyguard instructed her not to post the pictures until he was out of the island.
She shared the pictures and then left for Arusha. Once she switched her phone back on, there were countless messages including death threats.
“When I switched on my phone, the messages wouldn’t stop popping up. People were calling me all sorts of names. They said I had been paid to assassinate Baba’s character,” said Sasha.
Others, she recalled, accused her of being paid to taint Raila’s image, while others claimed she was his “side chick”.
“I always tell people this, if my mother and father doubted my dignity, I would have killed myself. As much as I was putting up a face, I was broken inside,” she said.
Zanzibar police were also looking for her for going against the local traditions and doctrines.