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Pauline Njoroge: Jubilee’s Overrated Flower Girl Reaping Benefits Of Alluring Charm

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Jubilee Operative and Communication officer at the NEPAD/APRM Kenya Pauline Njoroge during a past event.

Kenya’s past two elections have proven beyond reasonable doubt that social media platforms like Facebook, TikTok, WhatsApp, and Twitter have increasingly become key tools for politicians as they seek to reach out to the masses.

To affirm these assertions that the internet plays a big role in elective contests; a majority of voters need not be reminded the story of how UK data analysis firm Cambridge Analytica reportedly tampered with Kenya’s presidential campaigns in 2013 and 2017.

Due to the significance of these platforms, politicians have been forced to invest in tech-savvy online warriors who spend hours strategizing and launching deadly attacks on their behalf.

This has been proven to be true in our current political sphere where political parties, leaders and aspirants are rushing to engage the services of digital communication experts and bloggers to consistently, selectively and sometimes insincerely convey their messages to the masses and voters.

One such prominent figure is Pauline Njoroge, a self-proclaimed international relations specialist who has been on President Uhuru Kenyatta’s side since 2013 when he first occupied the State House.

As Uhuru sought his re-election in 2017, Pauline was among the integral players in the Jubilee party social media team.

Flexing her muscles on the interwebs, Pauline and her colleagues successfully countered Raila Odinga’s candidature by constantly bringing forth his presumed shortcomings.

However, following the 2018 handshake between Uhuru and Raila, Pauline suddenly changed tune and is now rooting for a Raila presidency in August.

Over the past few months, she has consistently defended Uhuru’s catastrophic reign, with her constant onslaught against Deputy President William Ruto escalating with each passing day.

For quite some time, Pauline has been working as a communications officer at New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Secretariat, an agency allied to the African Union under the Treasury Ministry.

Over time, she has slowly but surely built a reputation as a reliable fixer for President Uhuru Kenyatta and by extension, the Jubilee government.

Pauline Njoroge does not hold a formal position in government, but those who know her attest that she wields the kind of soft power that few people can rival.

Although she insists that hers is an innocent story of hard work, dedication, and a pinch of the Lord’s sufficient grace, some argue that this is merely a nicely-crafted cover to conceal much more than meets the eye.

Just how did the little known village girl working menial jobs to make ends meet turn tables and is now brushing shoulders with the high and mighty in the country?

Yes, Pauline claims that it was while working at a certain “posho mill” in Nairobi that she developed an interest in social media – initially as a leisure activity before she discovered the power the relatively new too at the time provided.

In her widely peddled story, her big break would soon beckon after then Gatanga MP Peter Kenneth supposedly “picked her” to join his team as a communications assistant – mainly running his social media communication as he prepared for the 2013 presidential run.

Within a few weeks, Pauline quickly climbed up the ladder and Uhuru Kenyatta later poached her to the TNA communications office.

In the first term of Uhuru’s administration, the Jubilee government’s social media network was synonymous with Dennis Itumbi.

Pauline, at the time, was relatively less known and spent most of her time at New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD)’s offices at Liasion House, State House road.

This was another gig she had miraculously bagged along the journey that reads out like a fairytale.

But in 2018, Itumbi’s reign at State House came to a halt after he and a number of his colleagues were let go as Uhuru’s handlers.

It was Itumbi’s memorable exit that created space for her to stretch her wings.

Ever since then, she has slowly painted a picture as one of the most influential individuals surrounding President Uhuru.

Her fame in political circles has often raised suspicion that perhaps her roles at State House extend beyond crafting digital strategy.

On various occasions, politicians from rival factions have made controversial remarks suggesting that when doors shut in the presence of the high and mighty, that’s when the real work begins for Pauline.

Such kinds of murmurs that refuse to die down have earned her the cheeky nickname “Chakula Ya Wakubwa” among the younger voting population.

This was recently unofficially confirmed by Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi who launched a scathing attack against Ms Njoroge on February 13.

Sudi took to his social media to castigate her over a meeting between President Uhuru Kenyatta and a group of youth on February 11.

Sudi insinuated that Ms Njoroge offered sexual favours in exchange for money that she used to mobilize the youth.

In the viral video clip, Sudi was heard accusing Ms Njoroge of allegedly paying out Sh8,000 to those that attended the event.

He argued that while Ms Njoroge lowers her “flag” for millions of shillings, the youths were only receiving peanuts for their troubles.

A similar narrative took centre stage when Tourism CS Najib Balala confirmed and later revoked her appointment to the Tourism Regulatory Authority back in 2020.

Her appointment caused a stir online due to her past sentiments about Nairobi National Park which advocated for it to be developed.

“How much revenue does Nairobi National Park bring to this country? Isn’t there much more that can be done with it that will add more value?” her past Facebook post read.

A screenshot of a past post by ​newly-appointed Tourism Regulatory Authority Board Member Pauline Njoroge

Balala, in a follow-up statement, said he was not aware of Njoki’s past negative comment about the park while appointing her to the position.

Many conservationists raised an alarm that had she been given the role to regulate the tourism industry while she held such views about Nairobi National Park, it would have painted a mockery of the whole exercise.

The park, which is favoured as the only national park in the world that is within a capital city, has been under threat for many years.

It was, therefore, no wonder that some Kenyans felt her appointment was a step backwards.

Ever since this unfortunate incident, Ms Njoroge rarely creates any attention around herself and prefers quiet power – leading a disciplined team of influencers, photographers and even journalists to showcase the President’s legacy.

As the 2022 election heats up, Pauline will definitely be a face to watch as she struggles to prove her “Miss Fix-It” bonafide and weather the storm from those willing to speak on the uncomfortable topic of the true story of her fast rise to power.

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