Months after road crash Tuju meets matatu driver

Jubilee Party Secretary-General Raphael Tuju with matatu driver Bernard Muya. [Edward Kiplimo, Standard]

Jubilee Party Secretary-General Raphael Tuju yesterday reconciled with the matatu driver who caused the accident that left him fighting for his life in hospital.

The two came face to face 16 months after the accident during a colourful day when they presented goodies to AIC Kijabe Hospital, where medics saved their lives.

Tuju met Bernard Njuguna at the scene of the accident at Kijabe junction on Nakuru-Nairobi highway and they agreed to forget the past.

“Please forgive me for what happened, it was not my fault,” said Njuguna.

Tuju said he had forgiven him and did not have ill feelings towards him, before they burst out laughing.

The Jubilee secretary-general revealed that he had spoken to Njuguna twice before the meeting.

At the hospital, Tuju described the doctors and nurses as “life savers”.

Raphael Tuju's Prado collided with a matatu at Magina along the Nakuru-Nairobi highway. [Courtesy]

He recounted how the medics diagnosed that he had broken 12 ribs and two of them were poking his lungs causing him to develop breathing difficulties.

“The intervention in this hospital is what has kept me, it was critical,” said Tuju.

He, together with three pacemakers and a group of well-wishers, including this writer, walked for 57km from Karen Hospital, Nairobi, to Kijabe Hospital to raise funds to buy modern equipment for the theatre.

Out of a target of Sh13 million, Tuju managed to raise Sh11.4 million, with more pledges on the way.

Those who have contributed to the cause include Safaricom, Isuzu, Megascope and KCB.

“We are still calling on well-wishers to come up and help bridge the difference,” said Tuju.

The Kijabe hospital event was attended by President Uhuru Kenyatta’s younger brother Muhoho Kenyatta, Cabinet Secretaries Amina Mohamed (Sports), Prof Margaret Kobia (Public Service), and ICT’s Joe Mutheru, Kiambu Governor James Nyoro, and his Kirinyaga counterpart Anne Waiguru.

Raphael Tuju was wheeled to the theatre at AIC Kijabe Hospital after the head-on collision. [Courtesy]

Amina, who was the first to arrive at the accident scene, recounted how she kept asking Tuju to keep opening his eyes.

“I was scared he would close his eyes, I told him to keep on looking at me, I told him after all I have a beautiful face for him to keep looking,” she said.

She praised the medics for saving not only the life of the Jubilee secretary-general but also those of his aides and the passengers who were in the matatu.

Tuju began the walk from Karen Hospital at 2am, flagged off by the facility’s owner, Dr Dan Gikonyo. He arrived at Kijabe at 12.20pm.

After the surgery at Kijabe, Tuju was airlifted to Karen Hospital and Dr Gikonyo vowed to join his patient for the walk. He finished two hours after the Jubilee boss.

On February 12 last year, he was wheeled to the theatre at AIC Kijabe Hospital after a head-on collision between the car he was traveling in and a matatu at Magina, Kiambu County.

Tuju was on his way to Kabarak, Nakuru County, to attend the funeral of former President Daniel Moi when the accident occurred at about 6.45am.