Photo: COTU secretary general Francis Atwoli a close ally of Statehouse operative David Murathe
By Nyainda Manaseh
His name is David Wakairu Murathe; a man that was once randomly asked by a journalist which political party he belonged to and retorted that his party is Uhuru Kenyatta.
Fast forward to 2020 and Murathe cuts a figure of the system’s poster boy, unofficially delivering distress messages to the big boys’ club gatecrasher, which would ordinarily not be sanctioned by State house and its Communication Empress.
Through SDP, Murathe captured Gatanga’s parliamentary seat in 1997. But he would later rise to prominence when a letter mysteriously surfaced indicating that he had resigned in favor of the moneyed SK Macharia.
And in quick succession, another letter was dropped, this time round rescinding on the earlier decision on the account that the first letter was a forgery. The then Speaker of the National Assembly, Francis Ole Kaparo, summoned Murathe who stood his ground, before giving him a cart blanche to have a moment with his conscience.
It is this penchant for controversy that saw him declare that he would willingly vacate his seat, together with Juja’s Stephen Ndichu, in favor of Uhuru Kenyatta whom the late Daniel Arap Moi wanted to bequeath the position of the VC ostensibly to shore up Uhuru’s waning fortunes ahead of the 2002 general elections.
That was the ultimate test of his loyalty to Mr. Kenyatta – a man from whose cigarette pack he could henceforth pick a stick – becoming drinking bosom buddies, and later being Uhuru’s political henchman during his stint at the Treasury Building.
As one of the trusted aides of Kenyatta, Murathe was tasked with role of assembling political machinery that would unclasp UK from the chains of ICC and later thrust him to the presidency. He first spot was Johnson Sakaja, whom UK had already mentioned to him, with their acquaintance stemming from the 2007 PNU campaigns.
In the twilight weeks of 2010, Sakaja was assigned the duty of setting up a vicious digital team with a coded sobriquet- dungeon- made up of bloggers, creative designers, and writers to operate at a discreet location in Lavington.
Their main duty was to endear UK to young people and turn the political tides in his favor; a job they dutifully and diligently delivered before drowning in their pit of arrogance by turning into lobbyists, damage control journalists, provocateurs and combative mischief makers.
That is how Itumbi, Nzioka, Ng’eno, and Kinyua were plucked from the streets and placed under direct supervision of Munyori Buku, the then Spokesperson to Uhuru and who was superintended by Sakaja.
Immediately after ditching KANU and procuring the services of TNA, David Murathe, Njee Muturi, the late Bruce Odhiambo, and Jutsin Muturi converged at a multistoried flat along Valley Road, later converted in earnest into Uhuru Kenyatta Center (UK Center).
The first task was to develop a snappy and memorable slogan for TNA. After pondering into the wee hours of the night in futility, they opted to go home and sleep over the issue. But on standing, Bruce said, “I believe we will get a slogan”. There and then, “I believe” cliqued with everyone in the room and that is how it ended up being adopted officially as TNA’s the slogan.
A respected figure within the circle of shadowy underworld political wheeler-dealers, Murathe never hid his aversion for William Ruto. From the outset, he remained extremely skeptical about the idea being mooted of Ruto deputizing Uhuru.
It his long standing relationship with Musalia Mudavadi, dating back to their times at Nairobi School, that prompted him to convening a secret night meeting between Uhuru and Mudavadi, where they signed a gentleman’s agreement for Mudavadi to be the flagbearer. .
But it was not long before the protégé of Kenyatta, in his bred-in-the-bone drunken stupor, reneged on the deal, blaming the devil for attempting to toss him out of the ring to the benefit of Musalia.
Later when briefcase parties closed shop and merged to form Jubilee, Murathe became its V. Chair, overshadowing the moribund Chair position. Immediately after fraudulently winning the 2017 elections, he began doling out public signs of a full-blown war to unfold.
And when he purportedly resigned from his position in 2019 after several run-ins with his supposed boss, effectively jeopardizing his position, tangatanga wags were quick to dismiss him as a cipher and nonentity.
One thing they didn’t realize is that Uhuru Kenyatta is David Murathe and David Murathe is Uhuru Kenyatta. If you open Murathe’s skull, you are more likely to bump into Uhuru Kenyatta’s name than even nicotine.
As you rant, Murathe was, is and continues to be Uhuru’s personal aide, drawing salary from State house budget and whom they meet literally every day to buy booze by the barrel. When Murathe speaks, go for Uhuru’s neck, for he who pays the piper, calls the tune.