The Relationship Between SK Macharia and Odinga Family

  • Citizen TV owner SK Macharia recently sparked contention after he declared that ODM leader Raila Odinga won the 2007 Presidential Election.

    While making his submission on the controversial Election (Amendment) Bill 2016 in Parliament, the media mogul claimed that former President Mwai Kibaki was wrongfully declared the winner.

    “The one who was declared the winner in 2007 was not the winner. We tracked all the results through satellite phones and as per my records, Raila won the elections,” Macharia told senators in parliament.

    Macharia's statement sparked mixed reactions among members of the public with many terming his revelations ill-timed.

    Unbeknown to many, the relationship between SK Macharia and the Odinga family dates way back to the 90s.

    During an interview in December 2004, the media mogul divulged that he supported Raila's father, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga and even campaigned for him while he faced retired President Daniel Moi during the 1992 Elections.

    "At no time had I interest in the media before the 1992 General Elections. I just happened to be a big political adviser and financier of Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Presidential campaign,” Macharia disclosed while revealing how his interest in media came to be.

    Since then, the relationship between him and the Odinga family continued to blossom and as proof to that, Macharia rallied behind Raila in the 2013 elections as he faced Uhuru Kenyatta.

    Prior to the elections, Macharia left tongues wagging after he was appointed part of a CORD summit that was to campaign for the Opposition leader as he faced Mr Kenyatta.

    His appointment sparked a revolt from a section of the public, especially from the Mt Kenya region, who vowed to boycott his TV and Radio stations accusing him of betrayal. This, however, did not sway Macharia from supporting the ODM Party leader. 

    The media mogul made it public and even campaigned for Odinga on his radio stations as well as on Citizen TV.

    Unfortunately, the CORD candidate suffered a shock defeat and it would later emerge that the media mogul had allegedly pumped Sh800 Million into Raila's campaigns hoping that he would emerge winner.

    Mr Macharia would later claim his money setting the stage for a legal duel with the Opposition leader.

    In a letter addressed to Odinga in 2013, Mr Macharia stated: “It is now one year and you have not settled the amount as we agreed in January 2013. I hope you settle it before the end of July to avoid any legal battle."

    The case eventually ended up in court, but it's not yet clear up to date what transpired between Odinga and Macharia but the two no longer enjoy a good relationship.