Raila and Tuju finally read from the same script

Raila and Jubilee Party Secretary General Raphael Tuju sing a hymn during the memorial service. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]
Cabinet Secretary without portfolio Raphael Tuju has said he has never held a grudge with Orange Democratic Movement leader Raila Odinga despite their political differences.

Mr Tuju spoke yesterday at St Peter’s Nyamira ACK church in Bondo in an event that was attended by Raila, President Uhuru Kenyatta’s brother Muhoho Kenyatta and politician Sammy Wakiaga.

The event also marked the first time that Tuju stepped into the church where the Jaramogi family always worships as they continued to rally Kenyans to continue supporting the handshake.

According to Tuju, Raila has always been a close family friend adding that they have even been neighbours in Nairobi.

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“As families, we are very good friends and our children always visit one another,” he said.

He recounted the last days of the late Raila’s son Fidel Odinga and said he met him about three days before he passed on.

The CS has been seen as Raila’s political protagonist since 2002 with the region taking a hard stance against him.

Prior to last year’s General Election, Tuju launched scathing attacks directed at Raila while campaigning for the re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta.

But in a sharp twist, thanks to the handshake between President Uhuru and Raila, the two now have reconciled.

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During yesterday’s event, the duo spent time chatting together, with Tuju introducing Raila to speak to the congregation amid loud applause.

“I want to thank you for bringing Kenyans together. I also want to congratulate you for this courage and leadership,” he said.

He noted that the handshake is not simply a Kenyan matter, but an international matter.

Tuju was elected Rarieda MP in 2002 on the ticket of the National Rainbow Coalition, which was pioneered by Raila and Mwai Kibaki.

He soon broke ranks with Raila despite being in Cabinet.

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In 2012, he launched his new political vehicle for the presidency, the Party of Action, but later became the secretary general of the then newly formed Jubilee Party, which propelled President Uhuru Kenyatta to victory in 2013 and his re-election in 2017, both times beating Raila.

Muhoho Kenyatta also lauded the handshake.

Raila also praised the unity that the country is witnessing saying that they are committed to ensure that the country operates based on its founding principles.

He challenged religious leaders to pray for peace and tranquility in Kenya.

The leaders visited the Jaramogi mausoleum where they laid wreaths, with Raila announcing that they will hold the 25th memorial of Jaramogi on February 18 in Kisumu at the St Stephen’s ACK Church.

SEE ALSO :Raila tells off MPs over pay hike

Raphael TujuRaila OdingaHandshake