Rigathi Gachagua's wife protests change of prayer venue from Nyayo to Kasarani

Rigathi wife protests change of prayer venue from Nyayo Stadium to Kasarani

Rigathi Gachagua’s wife Pastor Dorcas Wanjiku. She is protesting the decision by the government to move a planned prayer event from Nyayo Stadium to Kasarani Sports Complex.

Photo credit: Lucy Wanjiru

Ms Dorcas Rigathi, the wife of the UDA deputy presidential candidate Rigathi Gachagua, is protesting the decision by the government to move a planned prayer event from Nyayo Stadium to Kasarani Sports Complex.

According to the Association of Pentecostal and Evangelical Clergy of Kenya (APECK), of which Ms Rigathi is the patron, they had booked Nyayo Stadium for the Kenya Destiny Prayer Summit on Saturday July 16.

“We have already paid for this venue and we have spoken with all the relevant authorities. We were with the manager of Nyayo Stadium who took us round the facility and granted us permission to start putting up our sound equipment in readiness to pray for the destiny of Kenya,” said Ms Rigathi.

However, just 48 hours to the prayer meeting, the association was informed by the Director General of Kenya Sports, Pius Metto that Nyayo Stadium had been booked.

Instead, they were asked to move to Kasarani Sports Complex which they had earlier been told had events on Saturday.

“We are here protesting against a letter we have received this morning via email indicating that there needs to be a change of venue for our prayers which has booked to take place on July 16. The letter indicates that we should move to Kasarani Sports Complex. This is a very short notice of just about 48 hours. We are here to indicate that it is practically impossible to change the venue and to have the logistics ready,” said Bishop Daniel Kabono, the APECK chairman.

“We made all the applications on time and we want to be treated as citizens of this country. If there is any other group purporting to have another meeting on Sunday as alleged, that's their problem," he added.

APECK brings together Clergy from various pastors’ fellowships and Colleges of Bishops from all parts of the country, becoming the single most inclusive body of the clergy in the country.

Political malice

The association is reading political malice in the turnaround by Sports Kenya.

But Mr Metto dismissed the claims that politics was being used to deny the association the use of Nyayo Stadium.  

“We have directed them to go to Kasarani due to unavoidable circumstances. We have not denied them anything but put them up in another facility. I am not being used. I am doing my work,” said Mr Metto.

“How does politics come into this? This is a church. I am dealing with people who have told me their function is about prayers. How does politics come into this?” he posed.

Mrs Rigathi’s husband, Mr Gachagua is the Deputy President William Ruto’s running mate under the United Democratic Alliance ticket. Both fell out with President Uhuru Kenyatta and have become his fiercest critics.