Rigathi Gachagua allies allege plan to cut DP down to size in Kenya Kwanza

Rigathi Gachagua

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua chats with Nyeri Woman Representative Rahab Mukami at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Endarasha, Nyeri County, on May 19, 2024.

Photo credit: Joseph Kanyi | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Gachagua allies turn church event into a forum for defending the DP.
  • Deputy President's allies warn his detractors of a vicious fightback.

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua’s allies have alleged a plot within the ruling Kenya Kwanza Alliance to undermine the DP’s authority, vowing to defend him.

Elected representatives in the national and county assemblies from various parts of Mt Kenya region said yesterday that they would not allow the DP to be treated as President William Ruto was when he was Uhuru Kenyatta’s deputy.

They had accompanied Mr Gachagua, who resurfaced after several days of absence from the public limelight, to a church fundraiser in Nyeri County.

The politicians turned the church event into a forum for defending the DP against his political detractors.

This comes amid claims of bad blood between President Ruto and Mr Gachagua after the latter missed several functions held over the past 10 days and which his boss had presided over.

Led by Nyeri Governor Mutahi Kahiga, the politicians told Mr Gachagua’s detractors that “enough is enough” and assured them of a vicious fightback should they continue undermining him.

“We in Mt Kenya region 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 said.

Some of the speakers said the plot to undermine the DP was hatched “in the Rift Valley” but didn’t elaborate.

Mr Gakuya, who is being fronted to take the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party Nairobi City County chairmanship, alleged that the Mt Kenya region was being fought by politicians from the Rift Valley region.

“We are asking President Ruto to step in and stop these people,” he said.

Among legislators present were Mwangi Gakuya (Embakasi North), Major Ndong (Kajiado), Jane Kihara (Naivasha), Gitonga Mukunji (Manyata), Geofrey Kiringa (Mbere North), George Gachagua (Ndaragwa), Kamande Mwangi (Roysambu) Dr John Mutunga (Tigania West), Kirima Ngucine (Imenti Central) and Rindikiri Mugambi (Buuri). Only three out six Nyeri MPs attended the function.

Nandi Senator Samson Cheragei told Mr 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 Cheragei. When Mr Gachagua rose to speak, 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.

Calling for end of premature campaigns, Mr Gachagua told leaders to “respect those who are elected and give them a chance to work”.

“The public will have an opportunity to review their work,” he said, alluding to the elected leaders, “and decide whether to renew their contracts or terminate [them].”

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.

Missing in action

“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 speculations about his whereabouts and his political relationship with President Ruto.

Former Laikipia East MP Cate Waruguru accused The Service Party leader Mwangi Kiunjuri and other leaders of being used by the “enemies” of Mt Kenya region to undermine the DP.

The DP’s allies also accused Narc-Kenya party leader Martha Karua and Jubilee Secretary-General Jeremiah Kioni of plotting to divide Mt Kenya region.

They said last Friday’s meeting of a section of the Mt Kenya leadership, dubbed the Limuru III conference, was inconsequential to the political equation in the region as it did not come up with anything “tangible”.