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Raphael Tuju springs from ashes to apex

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As President Uhuru Kenyatta prepares to reorganise his administration, one of the likely beneficiaries in Jubilee Party Secretary General Raphael Tuju.

The former Information and Communications minister’s political career appeared dead in the water after he lost his Rarieda seat in the 2007 elections after falling out with Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga.

After the 2013 elections, President Uhuru Kenyatta appointed him his advisor on matters related to Media and the Management of Diversity.

In the lead up to the August 8 General Election, Tuju was appointed to head the Jubilee Party secretariat and his profile grew as he took on the National Super Alliance on various aspects relating to the polls, in addition to successfully managing party affairs ensuring Jubilee won an absolute majority in Parliament.

He has been throwing jibes at Raila, including criticising his tantrums every time he loses.

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“We are really tired of tantrums from Raila. He should grow up. Because those tantrums were there in 2007. I was in government then. There was an attempt to even change the ECK that time of the late Kivuitu. They refused. They said they wanted Kivuitu because they had won the referendum in 2005. So, that is the one they wanted. When they lost in 2007, then Kivuitu was bad,” he said at one point.

Raila has since challenged Uhuru’s win in this year’s elections and is set to file a petition in the Supreme Court.

One of the key factors that would influence appointments made by Uhuru and Deputy President William Ruto to Cabinet and other senior government portfolios, if the Supreme Court affirms their victory, is ensuring they represent the face of Kenya.

His loss in 2007 came despite various accomplishments he had made.

Despite Jubilee performing dismally in this year’s elections in the Luo Nyanza region, Tuju stands in good stead to get a Cabinet slot as Jubilee seeks to ensure no part of the country feels alienated.

Tuju holds a Master of Arts (MA) Degree in Mass Communication from the University of Leicester, United Kingdom. He has a successful track record in the private sector as founder and Director of a communications company and has interests in the real estate sector.

His loss in 2007 came despite various accomplishments he made as he sought to uplift the well-being of his constituents.

He is credited with the building of five (5) new secondary schools to increase high school enrollment in the region. He also implemented a major water project and introduced an innovative mobile hospital to decrease infant mortality as a result of malaria and HIV/Aids.

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After the 2013 polls, President Uhuru appointed Raychelle Omamo as Defence Cabinet Secretary despite similarly scoring a few votes in the region.

Currently, two Luos as serve as Principal Secretaries. They are Lillian Omollo (Youth and Public Service) and Joe Okudo (Arts and Culture).

The two were instrumental in seeking votes for President Uhuru in the region and though they did not sway the tide, they are likely to retain their seats.

Also likely to be considered for an appointment is outgoing Karachuonyo MP James Rege, who lost his seat after switching allegiance to Jubilee.

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BT Reporter
BT Reporterhttp://www.businesstoday.co.ke
editor [at] businesstoday.co.ke
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