Gachagua: No apologies for defending Mt Kenya interests

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has urged Mt Kenya region leaders not to focus on future positions but seek to empower their regions economically.

Deputy President (DP) Rigathi Gachagua on Thursday reiterated that he has no apologies for defending Mt Kenya interests in President William Ruto's government.

Speaking in Gatanga Sub County in Murang'a where he attended the burial of his sister-in-law, Mr Gachagua said "my work is to keep my eyes wide open in the resource kitchen for our people".

"I will continue sleeping with one eye while the other remains wide open like a torch to see where our interests are being sabotaged," he vowed.

He also dared the Nairobi County government to chase matatu operators out of the Central Business District.

Mr Gachagua said: "They thought I am a fool, (the) reason why they were attempting it, but I dare declare that it shall not happen.”

He said matatus are the backbone of Mt Kenya's economy and they contribute to the sustenance of many other businesses.

"Chase them out? Who? When I am around in this government? Never," he said.

Mr Gachagua further warned Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition party followers who have announced mass action as a way of exerting pressure against Dr Ruto's government.

"That is peddling is not possible. They can demonstrate as much as they want and we don't care. The only time they will overstretch their luck is if they dare touch our businesses," he said.

Azimio protesters

Mr Gachagua further warned Azimio protesters that "if you are men enough…just go there and touch any wares, business, shop...that belongs to our people. That is when you will cross the line".

He said he does not care about future succession plans as long as he makes the Mt Kenya region happy.

"I do not care what will become of me in future. My work is to put money in my people's pockets. If I do that...if all Mt Kenya leaders were to unite and do that, even in our retirement we will be honoured," he said.

He told other Mt Kenya region leaders not to focus on future positions and instead seek to empower their regions economically.

He added that he will not relent in ensuring that "only those who supported Dr Ruto's presidential bid benefit from government opportunities".

He added: "It is only those who supported and believed in him and his agenda who should be given work in the government. Only those who believe in the bottom-up economic model qualify...since those who opposed his policies can’t add value to his government.”

The Deputy President added that he does not understand how retired President Uhuru Kenyatta used to get sleep while "leading poor Mt Kenya people".

That is why, he added, he has set for himself goals to empower the region through the coffee, tea and milk industries.

"I want us to reach a point where a husband can just like that open up his wallet and give his wife Sh3,000 for no reason at all," he said.

He added that, soon, Mt Kenya women will be walking into beauty shops, salons and cloth shops to do impulse buying "just to look nice and beautify our lives as we admire them".

He revealed that he is learning from Ethiopia how to realise Sh300 pay per kilo for coffee farmers.

He said he was not concerned by the noises of people living in political denial "who traded in milk for 10 years without paying taxes and are today pretending to advise us on how to conduct government ".

He said, "no Mt Kenya region will ever encounter trouble in Dr Ruto's tenure since I am there".

He cited an example of the recent demolitions in Nakuru county where 500 families were evicted from the disputed land through a court order.

"I went there and had them returned...Never again will our people be evicted...treated inhumanely when I am there...what would I say is my work?" he posed.

Mr Gachagua claimed that there has been a consistent plot hatched by his detractors to have him clash with president Ruto.

"It will not happen...I and Dr Ruto are like the wedding ring and the finger...we are united by real issues and all our detractors must realise they will fail," he added.