Rigathi Gachagua is Mt Kenya supremo, DP allies tell Ndindi Nyoro

Rigathi Gachagua

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua (left) and Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

The battle for supremacy between Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua and Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro over who is the political kingpin in Mt Kenya and the best to succeed President William Ruto intensified on Friday with some MPs rallying behind the DP.

In a move to counter a meeting held by Nyoro in Murang'a last week, Mathira MP Eric Wamumbi gathered some MPs allied to the DP at Karatina Stadium and threw their weight behind him.

The battle between Nyoro and Gachagua's supporters started immediately after the 2022 polls and has kept the region in an election mood, four years to the 2027 election.

Some leaders have been vying to take over the leadership of Mt Kenya from retired president Uhuru Kenyatta and control the region's massive votes, which are crucial for bargaining power in national politics.

Apart from Nyoro and Gachagua, other leaders seen as having a shot at leading the Mt Kenya region are Interior and National Coordination Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki, Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria and opposition leader Martha Karua.

Nyoro's supporters, led by Murang'a Senator Joe Nyutu, are pushing for him to replace Gachagua as President William Ruto's running mate in the 2027 polls, a move that has set tongues wagging with some wanting to know the powers behind the push.

Gachagua has since dismissed his opponents, saying it is too early to start campaigning.

On Friday, Nyeri Senator Wahome Wamatinga said: "Gachagua is the senior-most politician in Mt Kenya. There's no infighting in the region. We will all support him. The other leaders should wait."

He added: "The political bickering you are hearing is friendly fire. This does not mean there is a political supremacy battle in Mt Kenya region."

Murang'a Woman Representative Betty Maina said: "It is not in dispute that Rigathi Gachagua is the Deputy President of Kenya. However, we have a lot of problems we are supposed to solve before 2027 and we should desist from early campaigns. We love all our leaders and we shall continue praying for them. We thank the President for mentoring many leaders from Mt Kenya region."

Kiambu Woman Rep Ann Wamuratha said: "We shall continue supporting the deputy president because he is currently the only senior person in government from this region."

During the event to launch an education initiative that will see day secondary school students paying only Sh1,000 fees with the National Government Constituency Development Fund paying the rest, speakers drummed up support for Wamumbi and urged locals to support him and give him a second term in 2027.

Nandi Woman Representative Cynthia Muge hit out at the judiciary for interfering in the implementation of government projects.

The leaders also supported President Ruto's efforts to rid the judiciary of graft.

Other MPs present were Kabete MP James Kamau, Oljoro-orok MP Michael Muchira, Irene Njoki (Bahati), Gachoki Gitari (Kirinyaga Central) and John Kaguchia (Mukurwe-ini). Laikipia Woman Representative Jane Kagiri and EALA MP Maina Karobia were also present.