DP Gachagua reveals warning to Ruto ‘if handshake with Raila happens’

President William Ruto, his deputy Rigathi Gachagua and former PM Raila Odinga shake hands at the funeral of Mau Mau veteran Mukami Kimathi on May 13 this year.

Photo credit: File

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has warned that the Mt Kenya region will rebel against any proposal that may recommend a handshake government with Azimio leader Raila Odinga.

The matter has already touched off a war of words between him and Mr Odinga over the ongoing National Dialogue Committee talks at Bomas of Kenya.

On Wednesday, Mr Odinga said the dialogue initiative was on track but wished "this unfit Deputy President Gachagua would stop badmouthing it".

But on Friday, Mr Gachagua said on Inooro FM that "the dialogue will get Mr Odinga nowhere in his plan to enter government through the back door".

Utterances and segregation of communities

Mr Odinga had said Mr Gachagua was not fit for the position "because of his divisive utterances and segregation of communities and regions by equating government with that which serves only shareholders".

Responding to questions on national television, Mr Odinga said: "Mr Gachagua is behaving like a president of the Mt Kenya region instead of playing the national status the Constitution requires him to play, making him not only a local disgrace but a global one.”

But in retaliation, Mr Gachagua said that Mr Odinga was only using the dialogue committee “to live up to his traditional reputation of turning to chaos after election defeats”.

"I assure you that the talks will get him nowhere. We have agreed with President William Ruto that we will not bring him into the government,” Mr Gachagua said.

"I have since put a condition on President Ruto that if the talks end in a handshake, Mount Kenya will rebel.”

He added: "It is the unanimous position of the people of Mt Kenya that any talks that may lead to Mr Odinga being accommodated in government through a handshake arrangement will be resisted.”

Accepted this condition

He added that the President has since accepted this condition "and promised to also refrain from the handshake and instead steer the talks to include other issues".

 Mr Gachagua said: "I have no time for these talks, I have proposed that we be represented by Kimani Ichung'wa because he cannot be a traitor. He is the man I trust most from Mt Kenya and when I'm out of the country, I delegate community vigilance to him with the detail that he will call me if anything seems to be going wrong. I have also suggested Cecily Mbarire to assist Ichung'wa, another community warrior.”

Mr Odinga had suggested that the Kenya Kwanza Alliance government ignores “the uncouth statements being made publicly by some of its senior leaders led by Gachagua against the dialogue initiative".

Mr Odinga said he was optimistic that the committee would produce meaningful and beneficial results for the country to correct the anomalies that have undermined its economic development and political stability, as well as disillusioned many from experiencing a sense of belonging.

Faith in the Bomas talks

“I have faith in the Bomas talks... I am giving the process a chance. Personally, I’m being loyal to the goodwill agreement that we uttered at inception, where we promised that no one from our respective wings would sabotage the process through deeds and utterances,” he said.

He added, “Unlike some of these Kenya Kwanza Alliance luminaries, personally I have my own views, but I dare not voice them lest I be said to be insincere about the process. Our Azimio formation has remained patriotic about the process.”

He added that "the likes of Gachagua won't take a divergent view or buy constructive advice; rather, they keep on claiming that we are after nusu mkate government while we have been very clear that we do not even need their rotten full-loaf government".