SK Macharia Defends Citizen TV Coverage of Raila

Billionaire SK Macharia (right) hugs ODM leader Raila Odinga (left) outside AIC Church Naivasha on October 10, 2021

Media mogul SK Macharia has explained why his television and radio stations have been providing coverage to the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader, Raila Odinga, during his campaigns.

SK Macharia, who was speaking amid fuss from critics who questioned why his media houses had given so much prominence to Raila's rallies as compared to other competitors, stated that the businesses are professional entities separate from his person.

Speaking on Friday, December 10, at the Azilio La Umoja National Convention, the media mogul stated that he was exercising his constitutional mandate in participating in politics and his businesses were impartial.

He further stated that his political views did not disrupt how his businesses are managed and had confidence in the managers that have been hired to oversee the firms.

Royal Media Founder SK Macharia hugging Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga in Muranga County on July 27.
Royal Media Founder SK Macharia hugging Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga in Muranga County on July 27.

"I am exercising my personal constitutional right to political participation as a responsible and free citizen. My political views and preferences are completely independent of my businesses which are managed by impartial and competent professionals," SK Macharia stated.

He went on to rally support for Odinga noting that he had watched his father, the Late Mzee Oginga Odinga, and his leadership skills, further noting that he has vast experience in politics and was part of the Grand Coalition government.

SK Macharia also described Raila as a selfless man who has served the country diligently and put aside personal gain for the good of the country which he opined was evident when he supported President (Rtd) Mwai Kibaki.

"Raila Odinga has lived a life of a selfless struggle for a better Kenya. He has always championed greater causes than self, and like his father, he also stated ‘Tosha’ in 2002 for the sake of the country and embraced the handshake in 2018," the RMS boss stated.

"Jaramogi (Raila's father) was a true patriot. The colonial government wanted Jaramogi to be the first Prime Minister and not Mzee Kenyatta, but Jaramogi refused. The truth is, the first-ever ‘Tosha’ call came from Mzee Jaramogi."

Macharia has been vocal in his support for Raila and this was evident in August 2021 when he pointed out how vital the handshake had been critical in forging the way forward for the country which was in a crisis after the 2017 General Election.

Alluding to this, he also pointed out the crucial role he played during the coalition pact between Raila and former President Mwai Kibaki as well as the former President's dilemma in the 2013 General Election.

He told the gathering that Kibaki had given him the blessing to support Raila because the retiring Head of State could not abandon Uhuru Kenyatta at that time. 

"We sat down with Kibaki, he told me - 'since you're the one who brought and advocated for Raila, and you convinced him so that we might work together (and form a coalition) and since we ran together with him (Raila in 2002) stick with him. For me, my young man (Uhuru) is in trouble with the ICC and I cannot leave him behind, go and tell Raila that' Muthaura was with me."

"No one believed that SK supported Raila and left Uhuru. Now you know why," the billionaire stated.  

Royal Media Services Chairman SK Macharia.
Royal Media Services Chairman SK Macharia.