Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has defended Trade Cabinet Secretary (CS) Moses Kuria from attacks by a section of political leaders who wants President William Ruto to sack him over his controversial remarks on the high cost of fuel.
Mr Gachagua on Friday said the push to have Mr Kuria laid off from government was choreographed by some leaders who are aimed at dividing the unity of Mt Kenya region leaders.
“I am the Deputy President and Kuria is our worker. Can a worker fight with his boss? I want to say that Kuria is our son. I have heard some people say that he should be sacked. Where to and for what reason? Kuria talked and I realised that he had gone astray a little. As a father of this region, I told him to go slow and that is my job,” Mr Gachagua said.
Mr Gachagua and Mr Kuria attended the funeral service of the late Field Marshal Muthoni Kirima at Kinunga Stadium and she was laid to rest at Gitungi village Tetu Constituency, Nyeri County.
“As a leader from this region (Mt Kenya), I will not allow anybody to harass Kuria. I think some people don’t understand this region. We talk differently and say different things but if our interests are threatened, we always put our differences aside and speak in one voice,” Mr Gachagua said.
“There are people who do not wish well for this community because we are unique. Nobody can divide this community. We should not head to the next election as a divided people. In the last polls, we were divided and lost 13 percent of our votes to our competitors. I pushed for appointment of our own people in powerful government positions because we voted overwhelmingly,” he added.
Mr Kuria’s sentiments over the skyrocketing fuel prices had drawn criticism from the DP and Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale, Mr Gachagua calling on State officials to maintain decorum when addressing Kenyans.
In his tweet, Mr Kuria wrote: “Dear Kenyans. On Friday, September 15th, I made some comments indicating that the price of fuel is likely to go up in the coming months owing to global dynamics. I have since been advised by people like Dr. Boni Khalwale and his master that the statement was incorrect, insensitive, and inaccurate. I am now made to understand that the price will come down. I apologise profusely since to err is human”.
But in an interview with Citizen TV on Thursday, Dr Khalwale responded to Mr Kuria’s apology, saying that his apology was not genuine and that it was filled with sarcasm.
“Every tone of that particular tweet is nothing but sarcasm. There was no apology there. I don’t know who he was apologizing to; if it includes me, then until I read an apology from him, I will make a decision whether to accept it or not,” he said.
While welcome Mr Gachagua to address the mourners, Mr Kuria described him as his boss and region's kingpin.
"I want to take this opportunity to invite my boss and the leader of Mt Kenya region to address you. Welcome Mr Deputy President," Mr Kuria said, without wading into politics.
East Africa Legislative Assembly (EALA) MP Kanini Kega called on leaders from Mt Kenya to rally behind the DP.
"The leader that we have in Mt Kenya right now is Gachagua. Well, it is true I had differences with him in the last elections. But he stood with me by rallying MPs from Mt Kenya region to support my candidature for the EALA slot. He showed us that we should defend and support our own," Mr Kanini said.
"I am beseeching leaders from this region who are in government to support Gachagua. But if we get ourselves divided into groups, we will fail miserably in delivering to our people. The other communities will tap more from Ruto's government than us," he added.