“David Wakairu Murathe is your ordinary political demagogue and dyed in the wool political lackey. His toadiness did not start on Boxing Day in Vihiga, it’s been part of his short but chequered political career.
David is a scion of prominent Thika businessman, the late William Gatuhi Murathe, he of the famous Murathe Wines & Spirits, a low key independent Kenya oligarch and beneficiary of the 1960s Kenyatta government Africanisation Programme.
Unlike most of his contemporaries, the senior Murathe did not immerse himself in politics. That political bug devolved to his son David who, with eyes on the 1997 general elections started active involvement in Ken Matiba’s Ford Asili party in 1996. Yours truly was working in that office and are well acquainted with David Murathe. But I digress.
With Matiba boycotting the 1997 General Elections, those intent on clinging to his coat tails to win elections, bolted and scattered to other parties. David Murathe joined the Charity Ngilu led Social Democratic Party (SDP), on which he was elected Gatanga MP in that year’s second multiparty elections.
A year into his election, David Murathe would find himself in a controversy of momentous proportions. Another monied homeboy, the media mogul, S.K. Macharia had been eyeing the Gatanga parliamentary seat. With enough money than they would ever need and no political clout, many Mt. Kenya oligarchs feel naked and exposed. Because of their thievish ways, their one and only desire automatically focuses on attaining political power.
In April 1998, a letter surfaced on the National Assembly Speaker Francis Xavier ole Kaparo’s desk indicating that David Murathe had resigned as Gatanga MP. Before Kaparo could digest the contents, another one arrived indicating the first one was a “clever” forgery . Kaparo was stunned and summoned Murathe, who stuck to this narrative.
Kaparo in his own assessment, adjudged both letters as authentic, with a genuine Murathe signature and a lawyer’s stamp and mark of authentication. Curiously Kaparo left the onus on Murathe “to go and search his conscience” and did not issue writs to declare the Gatanga seat vacant. That was a close shave for the connish and lately mouthy Murathe.
Across town, a short bespectacled and bald man was “crying in the toilet” while talking to himself in deep ethnic tinged baritone voice. He had been shafted, so to speak, and cleverly relieved of a cool Ksh.10 million by David Murathe in exchange for the resignation. With money in his account, the political fox changed tune and feigned knowledge of any such deal. The guy was moneybags SK Macharia, who had to eat humble pie, sheepishly grin and moved on.
The same script of buying a parliamentary seat had played out, in the same general elections, at Gatundu South, pitting the front-runner Moses Muihia and the greenhorn Uhuru Kenyatta, whose lap dog was barking very loudly in Vihiga county. That is a story for another day, though joined at the hip with this one.
The year 1998 was not out and Murathe was in the news again. With Moi not in the race in the 2002 presidential ballot and Uhuru Kenyatta a mere nominated MP, Murathe and Juja MP Stephen Ndichu offered to vacate any of their respective seats for Uhuru Kenyatta, just as James Gichuru had vacated for the senior Kenyatta at the dawn of Independence, for him to qualify to be appointed Vice President of Kenya, and hence stand a better chance of succeeding President Moi. The former constitution did not allow unelected Member of Parliament to be appointed Vice President of the republic.
For those who can recall, Kenya stayed for a record 18 months without a substantive VP after the 1997 general elections. The late George Saitoti was to be reappointed “kimadharau,” on the roadside, with the famous sardonic clincher “wacha tuone kama sufuria za ugali zitaongezeka kwa manyumba zenu!”
In the 2002 elections, David Murathe ran for Gatanga MP on a KANU ticket, his drinking buddy’s sponsoring party for that year’s presidential ballot. He was thoroughly thrashed by Peter Kenneth. His alleged selling of the seat to SK Macharia and his willingness to vacate the seat, entrusted to him by the people of Gatanga, for someone else, was seen as a betrayal of trust. He has never recovered, and probably won’t, from that selfish and connish profiling.
With parliamentary salary and privileges out, David Murathe sunk into political oblivion. Creditors at his company, Kenya Business Machines Ltd, threatened to attach his property over 50m loan. He filed for voluntary bankruptcy in 2005 to keep auctioneers away.
The year 2013 was Murathe’s defining moment. He was leading the team that midwifed the merger of Uhuru’s TNA and Ruto’s URP to birth Jubilee Party. With him well perched as Jubilee National Vice Chairman, Murathe has been irascibly loud, with airs of ostensibly speaking for Mt. Kenya wing of jubilee.
First was his insinuation that Uhuru at 61 in 2022, will be too young to go home; then his suggestion that Uhuru needs to transform himself into a benevolent dictator to get things done and lately his broadside on Deputy President William Ruto, in Vihiga as Musalia Mudavadi grinned like a Cheshire cat besides him.
I have news for you my good friend David Murathe, just as the people of Gatanga could not reelect you because of your greedy ways, your latest diatribe is just some puny fart in the wind. People shall vote for whomever they prefer, not necessarily the dynasties’ blue eyed politically docile puppets, Musalia Mudavadi or Githeri Man (GM).
If people decide it is my sharp teetotaler fren’ William Samoei Kipchirchir arap Ruto, not even your whisky quaffing partner can stop it. Dynasties must fall.