Retired President Uhuru Kenyatta’s loyalists in the Mt Kenya region have told Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua to brace for a titanic battle for his survival as the region’s kingpin and possible successor to President William Ruto.
They have vowed that their main agenda is to make President Ruto’s a one-term administration. Further, they have said that they have an elaborate scheme that will see the Mt Kenya region build its own formidable political party, complete with new grassroots leaders who will forge alliances with like-minded regions to seize power.
Mr Gachagua laughed off the threats, saying he felt sorry for “daydreamers” who are out to confuse people from the Mountain.
Speaking in Murang’a County on Thursday, he directed all Mt Kenya politicians to unite and keep off succession politics and instead strive to empower their people economically.
He added that the voices of discontent and schemers of divisions in the region were being funded “by a well-known dairy sector entrepreneur recently in power and who for 10 years traded freely without paying taxes, hence accumulating enough money to finance these characters”.
He said the ideal position is for area politicians not to engage in a scramble for future power relevance, saying, “Personally I am investing in God to reveal to me his plans for me.”
He told the leaders to focus on rejuvenating the tea, coffee and dairy sectors, as well as defending area enterprises.
“My eyes are on the ball … I am focused. My interest is in the cartels that eat farmers’ sweat. I am telling you that you will not continue eating that money. You have eaten it for long enough. Give me three months and you will see for yourselves,” he said.
Former Education and Sports Chief Administrative Secretary Zack Kinuthia told off Mr Gachagua, saying “you cannot give us directions as if we are from your party”.
Mr Kinuthia said: “We in Mr Kenyatta’s corner are happy with Mr Gachagua’s consistent public goofs manifest in divisive utterances and the way he boxes his boss into a corner of discomfort.”
“By 2025, Mt Kenya will be having a political identity branded in a solid party and capitalise on the failings of Mr Gachagua to reach out for a new alliance that will sweep Kenya Kwanza out of power,” he added.
Mr Kinuthia said the Mt Kenya region is headed for political disillusionment owing to the power plays that have emerged among its county point men. This will end up segmenting voters to a point where they will, in 2027, be seeking an alternative formation to unite in.
He said he anticipates a situation where President Ruto will panic about divisions in Mt Kenya and abandon them in favour of the Western region under Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi.
“That is when we will seize the moment and for example, court Mr Mudavadi to be our presidential candidate, deputised by someone from the Mountain, hence denying Dr Ruto the benefit of numbers. And it is possible since that is exactly what we are scheming,” he said.
Mr Kinuthia added: “The current political activities in the country being spearheaded by former Prime Minister Raila Odinga are meant to keep the Azimio troops together and safeguard loyal bases in readiness for rapid developments aimed at democratising the country to achieve lost dreams.”
He concluded by saying: “Mr Kenyatta remains our kingpin until that day he will say he is not interested to be one and all political activities within his camp will remain expressly aimed at making this President Ruto a one-term tenant at State House.”
Embattled Jubilee Party Secretary-General Jeremiah Kioni said Mr Kenyatta’s diehard supporters in the Mt Kenya region will not be derailed and will fight tooth and nail to remain loyal to the cause of Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition party and its principals.
The coalition will prevail over the forces that have turned the political arena into a black market of buying elected members to the government side, he said.
“Those with a price are free to go to the political black market now live in State House, and all you need is to go to the gates holding up a placard declaring your price and you shall be bought.”
Mr Kioni claimed that the office of the Registrar of Political Parties is a captive of the government and is out to help the government kill democracy “but we will prevail and emerge the better schemers for a takeover that is not far away”.
Kirinyaga Jubilee Party Chairman Mureithi Kang’ara said those who seek to sink Mr Kenyatta’s loyalists in Mt Kenya region will be shocked once the elaborate plans are laid bare.
“I urge our loyalists to remain firm and committed to the broader cause … Let us not be dragged into petty wars that are only serving to make our detractors happy. We should now come together, audit ourselves and with the guidance and support of the retired president, use the five years ahead of us to scheme on a comeback,” he said.
There are emerging narratives about power plays in the region being pushed through the media, he said, “but I urge all of you not to focus too much on power and positions”.
Mr Kang’ara promised those who remain steadfast in Mr Kenyatta’s corner that they will be rewarded handsomely and will not regret standing firm on political principles as opposed to the “mad rush to the government side, hence killing ideological and value-based politics in the country”.
On February 15, Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro paraded more than 10 Mt Kenya MPs alongside others from Rift Valley and Western regions in Kiharu, who endorsed him as the potential heir of President Ruto.
Speaking in Kamunyaka Primary school grounds in Gatanga sub-county in Murang’a on Thursday during the burial of his sister-in-law, Mr Gachagua said: “I and Mr Nyoro have no differences … Not any whatsoever … the conflict is imaginary and a creation of those living in denial.”
And as if to emphasise his seniority over the MP, the Deputy President told the mourners: “I today sent him to Parliament to table a supplementary budget to help us seal loopholes in our finances.”
But even as the DP urged others to keep off succession politics, Murang’a Senator Joe Nyutu endorsed him for the presidency in the 2032 General Election.
“We know that Mr Gachagua is going to be deputy President for the next 10 years and immediately after, ascend to the presidency,” Mr Nyutu said.
He added that Mr Gachagua will hand over the baton to Mr Nyoro, saying that for now, nobody should lead any political group to oppose Mr Gachagua.
“I have said it, and it is with all humility, that our son Nyoro should be groomed early enough,” he said.
Murang’a Governor Irungu Kang’ata said he was 100 per cent behind Mr Gachagua and President Ruto.
“We in Murang’a will support you,” he said.
However, Kangema MP Peter Kihungi criticised the emerging trend of politicking saying: “We risk getting judged harshly by these voters should we be seen to be leaning too much on politics (rather) than in helping them.”