Raphael Tuju's 99th problem is the defiant MCAs - Beaking Kenya News

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Sunday, 21 February 2021

Raphael Tuju's 99th problem is the defiant MCAs


Jubilee Party Secretary-General Raphael Tuju must be wishing he commanded the respect that Geoffrey Griffin had when he was the Starehe Boys’ Centre director.

When Mr Tuju was a student at Starehe, Dr Griffin was a revered administrator whose word was law. The legendary school founder treasured the cane and publicly complained when the government abolished corporal punishment.

Having left Starehe then joined the University of Leicester followed by a stint as a newscaster before he joined politics, Mr Tuju is currently playing a role that requires wielding the cane to ensure politicians toe the line. Problem is, no one seems to fear his whip.

Suspensions, memos and the use of tough-worded press statements are some of the disciplinary tactics Mr Tuju has been employing to little effect.


Whenever he fires at someone in the party, there is often some retaliation. Sometimes the crossfire is with none other than his deputy. Soy MP Caleb Kositany, the Jubilee deputy secretary-general, has on numerous occasions criticised Mr Tuju in the open.

Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua is also another politician who has little regard for Mr Tuju.

At a TV interview last year, Mr Gachagua questioned the value the former Rarieda MP had brought to the party and wondered whether he had injected the national appeal the party sought to have by appointing someone from the Nyanza region.

In the Political Parties Act, the words “secretary-general” are used only three times. And in all those times, they assign the holder of the post the same status as a party chairperson.

In one such instance, the Act says: “The (Political Parties) Registrar may issue a written notice, in the prescribed form, to the chairperson or secretary-general of a political party to…”

Had these been normal times in Jubilee Party, Mr Tuju’s word would have been having the same effect as the party chairman and, by extension, the party leader — President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Powerless headmaster

But Mr Tuju’s actions and utterances continuously paint a picture of a powerless headmaster who has lost any control over his charges that are getting more unruly by the day.

Jubilee Party members of the Baringo County Assembly are the latest manifestation of Mr Tuju’s qualities of having a tame bark and an even tamer bite.

Despite the secretary-general having communicated to MCAs that the party position was to pass the Constitutional Amendment (BBI) Bill, 2020, the House, with a majority of its members from Jubilee, voted to shoot it down. On Friday last week, Mr Tuju met nominated MCAs from Uasin Gishu county and issued similar instructions and threats. We wait to see if they will toe the line

To paraphrase rapper Jay-Z’s famous song, Mr Tuju has 99 problems and party discipline is definitely one. By Daily nation  

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