Inside Politics

DP Gachagua explains why he used to fear Wajackoyah

Wednesday, March 27th, 2024 10:59 | By
DP Rigathi Gachagua
Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua at a past function. PHOTO/DPCS

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has opened up on his fear for opposition politician and former presidential candidate Prof George Wajackoyah.

Speaking during the burial of Priesthood Church Bishop JJ Gitahi's mother Dorcas Wangari Muhihu, in Kaimbaga, Ol Kalou, Nyandarua County, Gachagua said he feared the politician over his advocacy for the legalization of marijuana.

"I am not a bad person Mr Wajackoyah. You are also not a bad man. I used to fear you when you advocated for the youth to smoke 'that thing' (bhang). You know we have a problem with that thing here (Mt Kenya region). You however said it's not that one. I'll call you to explain further," Gachagua said.

"I would like you to tell me that good bhang you are telling me so that I can be wiser. I'm not very intelligent since I am not very learned. I do not know a lot of things. You'll teach me a little bit so that I understand further."

During the presidential campaigns in 2022, Wajackoyah rallied on his call to root out corruption in the country if he became the president, while at the same time promising to legalise marijuana saying that it could generate billions of shillings in revenue for Kenya.

Among other promises, the pledge to legalise marijuana stood out and popularised him among the youth, with the Western media terming him a wild-card candidate due to the promise.

Currently, few countries in Africa have legalised marijuana, with most of them only legalising it for medicinal purposes.

Lesotho was the first to legalise marijuana in Africa in 2017, followed by other countries such as South Africa and Morocco.

In South Africa, adults are allowed to possess, cultivate and use marijuana in private, but not in public. In all other African countries, the use of marijuana for recreational purposes is still not allowed.

Wajackoyah's promise

Speaking in June 2022, Wajackoyah said that an acre of marijuana could earn a farmer Ksh8 million per harvest.

“The whole of Nyeri county is 583,000 acres. This means that if we grew bangi in Nyeri County, Nyeri residents will earn $45 billion (close to Ksh6 trillion) per harvest. And because bangi is harvested twice a year, it means Nyeri residents will earn $92 billion every year,” he said in June 2022.

"Bangi is our next cash crop. It grows wildly in Mt Kenya. Question is, if we required the permission of mzungus who have now legalized bangi, why shouldn’t we legalize?”.

Despite his popular promise, Wajackoya came a distant third with close to 62,000 votes, less than one per cent of the total votes tallied.

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