A Nyeri businessman feels he made a remarkable achievement in contributing to President Uhuru Kenyatta's re-election after sacrificing about Sh13 million to boost support for Uhuru's second term in office.
Ephantus Thuku, popularly known as ‘’Adonai’,’ said he does not regret sacrificing his fleet of public service matatus and his V6 Toyota Land Cruiser to campaign for his preferred presidential candidate.
Thuku halted his public service transport business for months, and committed all the matatus for Uhuru’s campaigns in the region, and with President Uhuru having being declared the winner, pending a Supreme Court petition by his rival Raila Odinga, Thuku has now gone back to his business with a strong feeling of achievement.
He used Sh12.8 million to bank roll his 'Team Adonai na Uhuruto' caravan that traversed different parts of the country to sell Uhuru's candidature. "My interests are secondary to the needs of this country, we need to have visionary leaders," he says.
Starting January Thuku and his team of nine covered Makueni, Samburu, Kisii, Laikipia and even Kisumu and Kibera, with one message, "vote for President Uhuru." Thuku said that he contemplated selling one of his five matatus to achieve his goal, when at a point they run out of finances. A Nyeri politician offered him Sh120,000-a-day to abandon campaigns for Uhuru and join his team, but Thuku rejected the deal. "My motivation was to ensure that Uhuru was elected and the country held together after August 8. The (NASA) petition is a small setback that we will overcome.”
"Sh12.8 million is just what I can defend with receipts and statements but the actual figure rises to Sh18 million.” "I could give each one of them Sh1000 in wages because these are men and women who have families," he said, referring to his nine-men team. He also helped ferry the elderly to the polling stations to vote on August 8th. "As Team Adonai we can confidently say that we ensured all the elderly vote in Nyeri. Some of these old people did not vote in 2013 because there was no one to ensure that they got out to vote," Adonai said.
Intrestingly, Thuku has never met President Uhuru or his deputy in person.