Diba says he is agent of change and morality
For Mohamed Abduba Dida, the fact that he was cleared to contest the presidency represents the clearest sign that things are looking up for Kenya.
“I went straight home, looked at my five-year-old son and told him; ‘little man there is hope’.”
Indeed he is coming to terms with what he could never have imagined; the man has a police bodyguard.
Mr Dida, the little-known teacher who will fly the presidential flag of Alliance for Real Change (ARK), says he has finally realised his dream of getting a platform to deliver his vision for humanity.
He says he is a candidate for the poor and an agent of human morality and change, having struggled through life from his Wajir home to Mukuru Kwa Njenga slum where his father, a retired junior policeman, lived.
“I have seen tough life until I got tired. Everyday things would get tougher until I gave myself two options – either flee the country or remain and become an agent of change. I chose the latter,” said 39-year-old Dida.
Mr Dida spoke to the Sunday Nation from his one-roomed party headquarters in the central business district on Friday. He was in the company of his running mate, 29-year-old Joshua Odongo Onono, also a former teacher in Kericho. And guarding him is police constable Hashim Mohamed Elmoge.
Mr Elmoge would be joined later by four other policemen when Mr Dida makes a request.
He says that, as a presidential candidate, he is entitled to state security but for now he is okay with Mr Elmoge, a friend and former school mate.
Interestingly, Mr Elmoge is the big-hearted policeman who donated his month’s salary towards a campaign to help starving residents of Turkana in 2011. He was moved by the story of a child suckling her dead mother.
Mr Dida, who taught English Literature and Religion at Daadab Secondary School at the refugee camp and at Lenana School, says he was forced out of the classroom by what he termed “frustrations and dictatorship by management for standing for truth and justice”.
“In Kenya if you are sincere and straight forward you will suffer. If you are a thief and dishonest, you will go far,” says Dida.
He says that after quitting teaching, he registered a job placement agency which did not work due to what he says were frustrations and corruption in government departments.
“I have seen it all and, as a teacher, I think I am an agent of change who has been pushed to seek the presidency to try and uproot toxic leadership that has brought suffering to Kenyans. It is my moral responsibility,” he says.
The ARK candidate says he plans a 15-day intense campaign which will see him and his agents cover three counties a day.
“Our advance team will identify target groups such as the elderly, disabled, and youth. After they have held meetings with them, I will fly in to address them,” he says.
Although he says he has visited almost all counties and identified possible leaders, his party will however be fielding only nine county representatives and one MP aspirant.
About his campaign financing, Dida says he relies on well-wishers, volunteers and prayers.
“Kenyans can sacrifice anything for good leadership,” he says, adding that social media platforms such as Facebook make it easy for him.
He says he head-hunted his running mate during a visit to the county of Kisumu. Consequently, Mr Onono quit his job in a Tanzanian NGO.
Mr Dida says that even if he lost the race, he would stand tall because he would have achieved his dream of sensitising Kenyans on the need to pick proper leaders.
“I will comfortably go back to the University of Nairobi where I am currently pursuing a masters degree in religious studies,” he says.
Frustrations of former teacher
Mohamed Abduba Dida taught English Literature and Religion at Daadab Secondary School at the refugee camp and later at Lenana School.
He resigned and started a job placement agency which did not work due to what he says were frustrations and corruption in government departments.