Rigathi Gachagua: I'm too old to turn into a liar, sycophant and 'praise and worship' man

Rigathi Gachagua

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua arrives at Kaharati Primary School in Murang'a County for the Maragua Education Endowment Fund on June 29, 2024.

Photo credit: Mwangi Muiruri | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Mr Gachagua says he will not take advice from those who did not believe in President Ruto's leadership.
  • He said some gave President Ruto 20 per cent of their votes but they now want to lecture those who gave him 87 per cent of the votes.

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has dismissed his critics, saying that at 59 he will remain a man of truth and will not turn into a sycophant and 'praise and worship' man.

Mr Gachagua declared that he will not drop his one man-one-vote-one-shilling mantra adding that "don't only rail at us when we say we want our rightful share".

He said President William Ruto had commenced multi-sectoral consultations about the challenges bedevilling the country, including the Gen-Z protests that saw the government drop the Finance Bill 2024 and County Allocation and Revenue Bill 2024.

Mr Gachagua said in dispensing his constitutional duties he will not take advice from those who did not believe in President Ruto's leadership "but came to our fold recently and now purporting to advise us on how to respect the president".

"When he picked me as his running mate he made a speech that defined me as passionate about people issues and truthful. Truth is not something you will not take away from me...at 59 it is too late to start telling me to become a liar, a sycophant and inclined to praise and worship for no good reason,” Mr Gachagua said.

Dropped a bombshell

This week, Mr Gachagua dropped a bombshell, asking President Ruto to sack National Intelligence Service Director General Noordin Haji for what he said was running an ineffective intelligence operation that failed the Head of State in dealing with the protests.

Insisting that he has always been a truthful man, Mr Gachagua suggested that his truth-telling ways had seen him isolated in the Ruto inner circle, but insisted that he would continue with it.

He said some gave President Ruto 20 per cent of their votes but they now want to lecture those who gave him 87 per cent of our votes.

"Come slowly, respect us, you have found us in this government and you have no bragging rights while in this government. We are going nowhere, learn to live with us even if you don't like us, our region and our language...we are the ones with full entitlement," he said.

He was speaking in Maragua constituency's Kaharati Primary School grounds during an education endowment fundraiser for pupils from humble backgrounds, an event where President Ruto sent Sh1 million. Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki sent Sh400,000 while Mr Gachagua gave Sh2 million.

 The Catholic Church in Murang'a County withdrew from hosting him for a fundraiser at the eleventh hour, a day after First Lady Rachel Ruto also suffered the same fate in Nairobi.

While Mr Gachagua was to lead a fundraiser to buy the Maragua Catholic bishop a car on Saturday, Ms Ruto was to on Sunday attend Lavington United Church's building of sanctuary fundraiser. Both events were cancelled by the hosts under pressure from Gen Z.

 In both events, a man identifying himself as Mwabili Mwagodi directly contacted both church leaderships to refuse the pulpit being offered as a political platform.

Mr Mwagodi had written to Murang'a Catholic Church's leader, Father Maria Wainaina and Rev Simon Mutahi for the Lavington church introducing himself as "I am the one coordinating other Kenyans to try and keep politicians away from our churches' pulpits around the country".

He said, "Our political leaders have abused the church using the pulpits to propagate lies and insult each other and worse still, donate proceeds of looted taxpayers' money".

He added, "Kindly note that as Kenyans, we are going to come to Kaharati to ensure that this loot is not distributed in church and that no political speeches are made there too".

Father Wainaina released a statement at the eleventh hour saying "the function that was to take place...where the DP was chief guest, Father William Kamau who was to host him did not involve the church leadership.... we have withdrawn it".

National arena

In a quick damage control move, Mr Gachagua went to the Kaharati Primary School function. 

In the event, Maragua MP Mary wa Maua who was the host assured Gachagua that she would mobilise her constituency to remain behind him no matter what.

"Even President Ruto has his roots. Our DP's roots are in Mt Kenya. Let everyone unite his or her village and we will meet at the national arena," Ms Maua said.

She said, "Gachagua has leadership qualities and is the man to lead Mt Kenya into the near future political duels".

She added that "even the seat of the president will be up for grabs in Mt Kenya region and nationally...we will also make a choice and a decision".

She said Mr Gachagua was godsend in Mt Kenya region "and you have performed exceptionally well in fighting killer brews and standing for our dignity as a community and region".

Ms Maua said, "Don't get overly concerned about the traitors in the mountain and don't even think of quitting this government...this government is ours...and should they try kicking you out, we will be there for you".

Other leaders present were James Gakuya (Embakasi North), Jayne Kihara (Naivasha), Wambugu Wainaina (Othaya), Kamande Mwafrika (Roysambu) and Benjamin Gathiru aka Mejjadonk (Embakasi Central) and Kiambu Senator, Karungo wa Thang'wa.

Mr Gathiru said: “We have some hopeless colleagues from Mt Kenya who are saying Mr Gachagua is tribal for telling us to unite and speak in one voice".

“Some sit in the Cabinet and their most notable performance is insults in public and on social media," he added.

Mr Gathiru said, "I am waiting to hear whether our colleagues dismissing unity calls from Gachagua as tribal will issue a statement to tell North Eastern leaders to stop standing with the National Intelligence Service Director General Mr Noordin Haji on grounds of village roots".

 He said, "Gachagua is our son, our community leader and our national hope".

Mr Gakuya said: “They are demolishing our houses in Nairobi and sabotaging Gachagua just to spite us and portray us as fools...and that is what we must refuse by standing united for our rightful respects".

 He said there is a plot being hatched to humiliate the DP out of power.

Ms Kihara said: "It is annoying to hear those we supported as a community to win power dismiss us as tribal when we say we must remain united just as we were when we were voting for them."

She said Mt Kenya is ready to fight and die for its unity since it is the only way it guarantees itself collective relevance in all spheres.

Kiambu Senator Karungo Thang'wa said: "We will unite by fire and by force...we are villagers...we expect Gachagua to speak about our communities and region".

He told Public Service CS Moses Kuria to stop taking them for a ride by saying DP Gachagua is tribal when he is running a tournament for Mt Kenya region only".

Mr Thang'wa said: “There are powerful MPs who are telling us to abandon Gachagua so that we can gain free access to the President...they should know our route to the President is through Gachagua".