Why Raila Kicked Tony Gachoka Out of Lucrative Job

  • ODM Party leader Raila Odinga with KTN show host Tony Gachoka Twitter
  • TV personality Tony Gachoka served as the head of protocol in ODM leader Raila Odinga's office when he was the prime minister between 2007 and 2013.

    Talking to The Standard on February 13, 2010, Gachoka disclosed that his complaints about a scandal concerning the sale of maize that had been imported into the country was the reason he was dismissed.

    A previous ban on the importation of maize had been lifted by the government, to allow capable businessmen to mitigate a shortage of the crop, which was exploited by top individuals in the government.

    Jeff Koinange (left) and businessman Tony Gachoka in a Nairobi court on June 5, 2015 where they were handed fines of Sh2 million each for contempt of court.
    Media personalities Jeff Koinange (left) and Tony Gachoka in a Nairobi court on June 5, 2015, where they were handed fines of Ksh2 million each for contempt of court.

    Gachoka narrated that he was hounded out of Odinga's office after demanding that then Permanent Secretary Mohammed Isahakia and Raila’s PA, Caroli Omondi clear their names over the scandal after being implicated.

    This action, he had stated, was necessitated by the need to clear the former prime minister's office of any involvement in the scandal.

    While he expected Odinga to address the concerns, he was surprised when senior officials at his office turned against him as his boss remained silent. 

    "I was shocked when, instead of a meeting being convened, I was interdicted for insubordination by the PS whom I had asked to come clean on his association with the maize saga. I had copied my concerns to the PM and had hoped he would intervene before it came to heat being turned on me," Gachoka recalled.

    The publication reported that Gachoka was dismissed over what was framed as disrespectful and malicious behaviour that amounted to insubordination intended to undermine the prime minister's office. 

    Gachoka thought Odinga had become complicit by not coming to his defence. 

    "The PM should have run away from certain individuals at his office. After a forensic report condemns them, honest servants are shocked when PM referred to graft suspects under investigations by KACC (now EACC) as innocent civil servants," he regretted.

    ODM leader Raila Odinga
    From Right: Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa, ODM leader Raila Odinga, David Murathe, Tony Gachoka and other leaders at Gachoka's birthday party in September 2019

    Caroli Omondi was eventually cleared by the Cabinet of any involvement in the maize scandal.

    Even after their acrimonious fallout, Gachoka and Raila are close allies to date.