DP Rigathi Gachagua: Ruto and I joined at the hip

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua arrives and is received by United Democratic Alliance leaders at Bomas of Kenya on October 13, 2023, during the United Democratic Party(UDA) National Women's Congress. 

Photo credit: Wilfred Nyangaresi | Nation Media Group

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua yesterday said he is joined at the hip with President William Ruto, dismissing reports of a possible split.

Fears of a rift between the two leaders were voiced by Gender Cabinet Secretary Aisha Jumwa, who had been in a Cabinet meeting with the two earlier in the day.

“Let’s not allow anyone to come between them,” the minister said.

“We say the President and Rigathi are inseparable. The women of Kenya will not accept a separation.”

The remarks were echoed by United Democratic Alliance (UDA) chairperson Cecily Mbarire.

Responding to the fears, Mr Gachagua said there is nothing to be afraid of, even as he criticised journalists.

“The government...under the able leadership of President William Ruto is one, solid and stable. There can never be division or conflict. That is a creation of people still living in denial,” the DP said during the UDA National Women congress at Bomas of Kenya, Nairobi.

It was the first such conference since the August 9, 2022 General Election.

“They want to imagine a problem. There will be none. The President and I are joined at the hip. And the President and I share an ideology – the bottom-up economic transformational agenda for the people of this country. We have been friends for more than 20 years. Our friendship surpasses the presidency,” Mr Gachagua said.

With a possible closing of ranks at the National Dialogue Committee, some observers believe Mr Gachagua is getting isolated.

The DP has repeatedly criticised the committee.

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua addressing Nyeri residents

Recently, the President appeared to lash out at his deputy’s refrain that the national cake should be given out on the basis of “shareholding”.

Mr Gachagua does not see a potential rift between him and his boss.

He instead blames “prophets of doom”.

“It does not matter what you do. You cannot create a wedge in this government. We are persuaded that there is a job to do. We have work to do for the people of Kenya,” he said yesterday.

“We have no time for sideshows and nonsense. One thing I agree with (former president) Uhuru Kenyatta is that newspapers are for wrapping meat.”

The congress, in which the upcoming UDA elections dominated speeches, came up with seven resolutions. One of them was that the party’s chairperson and vice-chairperson be automatic delegates to the National Delegates Congress.

Another resolution was to postpone the elections from December to January. Some delegates said they felt women are ordinarily engaged in many other activities during the holiday month.

UDA Secretary-General, Cleophas Malala, said 86,716 individuals had expressed interest in party positions through the online platform by yesterday.

“Some 41,000 are women,” the former Kakamega senator said.

The congress was also informed that the government would distribute sanitary towels to schools from January.

“The President, through the State Department of Gender, has released Sh940 million for the programme,” Ms Jumwa said.