Tuju: I Sympathize With My Successor

  • President Uhuru Kenyatta (left), Jubilee Secretary General Raphael Tuju (centre) and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga (right) at State House, Nairobi on Thursday, January 13, 2022
    President Uhuru Kenyatta (left), Jubilee Secretary General Raphael Tuju (centre) and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga (right) at State House, Nairobi on Thursday, January 13, 2022
  • Former Jubilee Party Secretary-General Raphael Tuju has pointed out the difficult task that lies ahead for his successor, Ndaragwa MP Jeremiah Kioni as the ruling party prepares for primaries. 

    In a TV interview held on Wednesday, March 2, Tuju noted that steering the party forward amid the murky political scene would be a tall order for any politician but he expressed his vote of confidence that Kioni was up to the task.

    "I sympathize with my friend, but (Jeremiah Kioni) is up to the task, I don’t think there could have been a better Secretary General. He has national credentials, experienced, calm and sober person so I trust that he will be able to steer the party through this challenging period," Tuju stated.

    An undated image of Jeremiah Kioni.
    Jeremiah Kioni

    The former SG noted that the 2018 Handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM party leader Raila Odinga had caused a necessary rift which led to the breakaway of Deputy President William Ruto and his allies. He, however, affirmed that it was good for the peace and stability of the country.

    "I think it (handshake) split it but not down the middle. You're talking about maybe 80/20, which is okay because sometimes those sacrifices have to be made.

    "I think what the President felt strongly about and I feel strongly about it as well is that the Jubilee formula would be the duopoly for this country and we can't sustain that. So we needed to reach across the aisle and make people feel more included and I think it has been achieved," he stated. 

    In terms of his next political direction, Tuju stated that he kept his options open, opting to choose either to vie in Nairobi county or his hometown of Siaya County. He, however, revealed that he had to make consultations with the people and those in influential positions before declaring his way forward. 

    “I am here looking at various political offices. I have lived in Nairobi for the last 49 years. I have a home here and I can contest for any seat in Nairobi, with the right consultation. I can go to maybe three constituencies where I have some competitive advantage,” 

    I can also contest in my home county of Siaya…I have this fortunate position that I do have name recognition and I do have a track record in the political arena so it is much easier for me to get into the fray."

    He added that during the course of his career, his most meaningful achievement entailed helping out needy students to get scholarships who in turn grew to become successful people in their respective industries.

    “As I am talking to you there are some kids that I have helped. One of them is operating a very successful ICT business in London. This was a kid I took in in Form Three, sponsored him through high school, got him a scholarship out of the country…he’s now willing to help,”

    "Another one is very successful in Mombasa, he sent me a Prado and a brand new pick up, free of charge.I have also sponsored some kids who are now doctors…and that gives you more satisfaction than the latest model of a Toyota," he noted.

    Tuju has served in Jubilee's Secretary-General docket for five years during President Kenyatta's tenure.

    Jubilee Secretary General Raphael Tuju addresses the media in 2019.