A number of Kenyans have perhaps realised by now that Jubilee’s Vice-chair, David Murathe, rarely makes appearances on Citizen TV, and there’s a reason for that. If the channel wants a representative of Jubilee Party, they usually reach out to the party’s Secretary Genaral, Raphael Tuju.
It all dates back to the 90s and is a story of power, politics, betrayal and treachery; the ultimate Kenyan episode of power games.
Back in the 90s, it’s a well known fact that the then ruling party, KANU, was running the country with an iron fist, and for this, among other reasons, it was quite unpopular particularly in the central region. This was more so in Murang’a county which felt aggrieved after Kenneth Matiba, their son, declared that his presidential victory in the 1992 general election had been robbed from him.
In Gatanga constituency of Murang’a county, the race was between three fierce contestants; Josephat Wanyoike, Samuel Kamau Macharia and David Wakairu Murathe of Social Democratic Party, SDP.
In the end, David Murathe ended up clinching the seat, beating SK Macharia at the polls.
This, however, wasn’t to be the end of the duel, as it degenerated into a court case, with Mr. Macharia challenging Murathe’s win in court.
It, however, was what was happening outside the courts, that was more interesting.
In April 1998, Speaker Francis ole Kaparo received a letter purportedly conveying Murathe’s resignation.
The MP, however, disowned the letter, saying it was a forgery.
“I have a letter purportedly written by a member to resign. I also have a letter by that member saying he did not resign and that the letter is a forgery,” Mr Kaparo told Parliament on April 7, 1998.
It was in the midst of all this, that claims emerged purporting that SK Macharia had bought the parliamentary seat from Murathe for 10 million in a deal turned sour.
Whether it is because of this alleged bribery attempt, or the bitter court case that followed the acrimonious election, one thing is certain, ever since the events of 1997/1998, the two big men of Murang’a county have never seen eye to eye again.