Kenya Kwanza implosion: Ruto allies allege 'blackmail' by Gachagua’s backers

 Silvanus Osoro

Majority Whip Silvanus Osoro when he addressed journalists in his office. 

Photo credit: dennis Onsongo | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • The leaders call on those in the government to speak in one voice.
  • Gachagua’s allies said they will not sit back and watch the DP being undermined.

Allies of President William Ruto have warned a section of Mt Kenya leaders in government against what they termed as “blackmail” targeting the Head of State.

The leaders said there is a need for those in government to speak in one voice, rather than engage in internal fights.

National Assembly Majority Whip Sylvanus Osoro said the Mt Kenya region controls nearly half of the Kenya Kwanza administration and as such has no justification for squabbling.

“…you control the government and the country. You actually own half of this government. You have no reason to complain and bring unnecessary squabbles to the national government,” Mr Osoro said.

The South Mugirango MP called for respect within the government.

“Let us respect each other, let’s respect the President. You run the government, but stop blackmailing the President of the Republic of Kenya. It’s not right,” the legislator said.

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua’s allies led by Nyeri Governor Mutahi Kahiga on Sunday said they will not sit back and watch the DP being undermined.

Mt Kenya region

Mr Kahiga said that as leaders from the Mt Kenya region, they would not allow the DP to be undermined in the same way President Ruto was treated when he served as DP under retired president Uhuru Kenyatta.

“We will not allow our son to go through that. Kama mbaya, mbaya (let the worst happen), but he will not be taken through that. He was not given the seat on a silver platter, he fought for it, and he is not a deputy president by default,” Mr Kahiga charged.

Any disrespect against Mr Gachagua, he said, is disrespect against Mt Kenya region.

“We in Mt Kenya woke up very early in the morning to elect this government. We elected both William Ruto and Rigathi Gachagua and suffered a lot in the process. You all know the atrocities committed against Ruto when he was the deputy president and we shall not allow this to happen to our son,” Mr Kahiga added.

Baringo North MP Joseph Makilap defended President Ruto and Rift Valley leaders against accusations of disrupting Mt Kenya politics.

“There is no single day President Ruto has sent any leader from Rift Valley to disrupt the politics of Mt Kenya. We therefore want to tell those engaged in ethnic mobilisation to look for something else to do,” said the MP.

Mogotio MP Reuben Kiborek said nobody should be scared of the national tours being advanced by certain youthful leaders.

Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro has recently faced accusations of undermining Mr Gachagua following his regional tours across the country. Mr Nyoro has been moving around the country giving talks and conducting fund raisers, something that has not gone down well with DP Gachagua’s allies, who feel that he was being used to undermine him.

But Mr Kiborek warned against political insecurity, saying: “Any leader who fights the young people is an enemy of the future.”

“So to our senior leaders, please don’t suppress us. Don’t think that our tours around the country are intended to create problems,” said Mr Kiborek.

Eldama Ravine MP Musa Sirma and nominated senator Jackson Kosgei called for sobriety among leaders within Kenya Kwanza and across the political divide.

Warring parties

“As an elder, we are ready to bring warring parties together because Kenya is one. We need to maintain sobriety and engage on real facts not propaganda,” the MP said.

Mr Kosgei said that Kenyans voted in peace in 2022 and nobody should start a feud two years later. “Any ethnic mobilisation in Kenya must stop if we want to realise meaningful leadership and development,” he said.

On Sunday, Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei told DP Gachagua to soldier on, saying, those criticising him were wasting their time.

“The Deputy President is not a Mt Kenya leader, he is a national leader and he should not worry about these small things,” said Mr Cherargei.

When Mr Gachagua rose to speak at the Church event in Nyeri, he steered clear of the controversy.

“There are many things being discussed and I will not talk about them. Let us try to bring the political temperatures down and work for our people because the time for politics will come and we shall be there,” he said.

But in a telling quip, Mr Gachagua claimed that a cabal of politicians who have been criticising him were mere “amplifiers”, hinting they could be acting at the behest of some powerful forces.

They are amplifiers

“To the people of Mt Kenya, please don’t allow to be divided by others. Let’s pray to God so that we don’t turn brother against brother. Let’s not back-stab each other. There are those who are talking a lot of things out there; if you keenly listen to them you’ll realise they are amplifiers, talking on behalf of someone else,” he said in his native Kikuyu.

The DP had been missing in action for days, skipping several important functions and raising speculation about his whereabouts and the status of his political relationship with President Ruto.

On Sunday night, however, he turned up to see off his boss who was heading to the United States for a five-day State visit.

Prime Cabinet Secretary and Foreign Affairs CS Musalia Mudavadi is among leaders who accompanied the President on the trip.