Gachagua to MPs: I speak for the masses, stop disrespecting them and listen

Photo credit: Bonface Bogita| Nation Media Group

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua on Friday, June 15, came out guns blazing, dismissing those against his Mt Kenya unity bid and the ‘I am villager’ talk, saying he was speaking for the masses, the majority of whom live in the rural areas, and whom he said he had spoken to before taking a position.

Mr Gachagua, who became the focus of a parliamentary debate on Wednesday, fought back the claims, saying he had listened to the people, and should be allowed to voice their concerns and aspirations.

“If you hear me say anything, know that ‘the ground’ is speaking. And as Rigathi Gachagua, I have no voice of my own. I speak on behalf of the people. And when you hear me take a certain position, there are many people behind him who are urging to take such a position,” Mr Gachagua said in Ruai in Kasarani Constituency in Nairobi County.

Mr Gachagua was ridiculed by MPs this week, led by Majority Leader Kimani Ichung’wah and Whip Sylvanus Osoro, after he was seen dragging his luggage to board a commercial flight from Nairobi to Mombasa, but which MPs said was a public relations stunt as his office has enough funds for the travel, and that the DP tagged along his security and a photography team to document his departure and arrival.

Seeming to refer to his newfound campaign of speaking for the "villager", Mr Gachagua lambasted leaders he said had started disrespecting those who elected them.

The DP that his unity bid must start from the village, and dismissed those who say he should take a national approach—a group Mr Gachagua sees as being anti-village.

“I have heard some leaders disrespecting the people that elected them. Kindly respect wananchi. Even if you are now wealthy, don’t fall into the temptation of spitting and disrespecting those who don’t have anything. Kindly give them respect even if they don’t have anything like you do,” he said.

The DP praised his host Kasarani  MP Ronald Karauri for focusing on developing the constituency promising to lobby for more support for schools’ infrastructure in the area.

“All the leaders must account to the people for the time they have been in office. Whether you are a governor, MP, Senator or even MCA, the people want to know what you have done for them,” the DP stated.

During stopovers in the nearby Ruai and Bypass estates, the DP emphasised the need to improve the lives of the people through key programmes and projects saying the Ruto administration has allocated funds for roads and markets in the areas.

Embakasi North MP James Gakuya warned that MPs abusing the DP may lose their seats if they lose touch with the "villagers", asking them to tone down before it is too late.

“The abuses and insults shall soon come to an end,” he warned asking President William Ruto to crack his whip on those MPs abusing his deputy.

“If we see a lack of respect, we might need to think something else is going on, ” said Mr Gakuya.

On his part, Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei said the Parliament cannot be used to abuse the second in command.

He wondered how the Speaker Moses Wetang’ula allowed this week’s debate to happen on the floor, “as he should always be neutral.”

Senator Cherargei said, “Kimani Ichung’wah is now a decisive figure and no longer fit to be the majority leader”.

Furthermore, he said, DP Gachagua was not wrong on the principle of equity, echoing the remarks of MP Gakuya who said there was no equity in the division of revenue.

The senator had accompanied the DP whom he asked to intervene in the Finance Bill, which seeks to raise an additional Sh347 billion, and which Kenyans have termed as punitive and demanded a review of certain proposals targeting to tax bread, motor vehicle owners, mobile money transactions, and plastic packaging used in virtually all manufactured goods.

He said Kenyans had reached out to him like other legislators to intervene.

Kasarani MP Karauri said many Kenyans had reached out on the finance bill

“We’ve received many messages. Kenyans have decided to speak to us,” he said explaining that the voice of the Kenyans must be harkened to.