Inside Politics

50 Mt Kenya leaders back Gachagua’s quest for unity

Sunday, October 22nd, 2023 12:46 | By
Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua on Sunday
Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua on Sunday. PHOTO/@rigathi/X

Mt Kenya opinion shapers and over 50 elected leaders have backed Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua's unity bid, to strengthen the Ruto Administration.

During the closure of the Mt Kenya Golf Festival tournament held at the Nyeri Golf Club on Saturday evening, businessmen and women, professionals and political leaders from the Mt Kenya region rallied behind Gachagua and promised to work with him and the Kenya Kwanza administration for the economic growth and development of the region.

Among the attendants of the golf festival, which was the first since President William Ruto and Gachagua rose to power, were members of the Jubilee Party which is affiliated with retired President Uhuru Kenyatta.

"We are delighted by your presence in this forum. We urge you to follow the footsteps of former President Mwai Kibaki and make the golf tournament an annual event. Kibaki was the patron of the club and played golf for 40 years. Continue with his legacy because you are our leader," said Nyeri Town MP Maina Mathenge, with his sentiments echoed by Trade and Investments expert Daniel Wamahiu.

They said it was time to forge a united front in the pursuit of the interests of the region and support President Ruto’s government.  

"We are coming together as Mt Kenya leaders behind the Deputy President to address our political and economic interests such as unemployment," EALA MP Kanini Kega said.

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua addressing Mt Kenya leaders on Saturday, October 21, 2023. PHOTO/@rigathi/X
Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua addressing Mt Kenya leaders on Saturday, October 21, 2023. PHOTO/@rigathi/X

In his remarks, the Deputy President said that since it was not an electioneering period, the country should be united, promising to consolidate the region for purposes of its growth and development.

"President William Ruto and I want all Kenyans to be one team, one people for the development of this country since the elections are over. In this region, during the last elections, we were divided to a certain extent because 87 per cent voted for President Ruto and 13 per cent voted the other way. The elections are over and I have on record invited those who did not support us to come and work together for our region and country because there is no enmity or quarrel. Election is like a sport and should be taken beyond there," Gachagua said.

He was accompanied by professionals, business people and political leaders from the 10 counties in Mt Kenya region led by Governors Mutahi Kahiga (Nyeri), Muthomi Njuki (Tharaka Nithi), Joshua Irungu (Laikipia), Irungu Kang'ata (Murang'a), Nyeri Deputy Governor David Kinaniri and Senators Wahome Wamatinga (Nyeri), Kamau Murango (Kirinyaga), John Methu (Nyandarua), John Kinyua (Laikipia) Tabitha Karanja (Nakuru) and Veronica Maina (Nominated).

Over 50 MPs from the region who joined the DP for the event pledged their loyalty to the President and his Deputy saying the region was desirous of development and unity. 

The MPs included Sabina Chege (nominated), Maina Mathenge (Nyeri Town) John Kaguchia (Mukurweini), Wambugu Wainaina (Othaya), Eric Wamumbi (Mathira), Njoroge Wainaina (Kieni), Mugambi Rindikiri (Buuri), James Gakuya (Embakasi North), Mejja Donk Gathiru (Embakasi Central) Peter Kihungi (Kangema), Geoffrey Wandeto (Tetu) Njuguna Kawanjiku (Kiambaa), Kamande Mwafrika (Roysambu), Mary Wamaua (Maragua), Jayne Kihara (Naivasha), Mary Maingi (Mwea), Alice Ng'ang'a (Thika Town), Wachira Karani (Laikipia West), Geoffrey Ruku (Mbeere North) and Gachoki Gitari (Kirinyaga Central). 

Others present were: Michael Muchira (Ol Jorok), David Kiaraho (Ol Kalou), George Gachagua (Ndaragwa), Kwenya Thuku (Kinangop), Engineer John Kiragu (Limuru), Simon Kinga'ra (Ruiru), Mburu Kahangara (Lari), David Gikaria (Nakuru Town East), Teresiah Wanjiru (Nominated), Kirima Nguchine (Imenti Central), Julius Taitumu (Igembe North), John Paul Mwirigi (Igembe South) and Daniel Karitho (Igembe Central).

Members of the East Africa Legislative Assembly were Kega and Maina Karobia together with former MPs Gichuki Mugambi (Othaya) and Wambugu Ngunjiri (Nyeri Town) and businessmen Wachira Maina Keen and Peter Kanyago (former KTDA chairperson).

Elders endorse Gachagua's unity bid

Last week, the Kikuyu Council of Elders, through its National Chairperson Wachira Kiago, welcomed and endorsed the Deputy President's bid to unite the region and to reach out to all leaders irrespective of their political affiliation.

The Akurino Church also endorsed the Deputy President as the regional political kingpin asking him to chart the region's political destiny.

In his remarks at the golf tournament, the Deputy President requested the business community to work together with the government and pursue a unity of purpose.

"Let us work together and pursue a unity of purpose, assist each other and build our country. None of us has an interest in what happened during that time (election campaigns). I am asking people of this region with a lot of humility to rally behind the President and assist him in the development programs, " Gachagua- said.

About the event, he said, "A time has come for us to come together and interact with businessmen and professionals and get ideas on how to make this country better".

On the economic status of the country, the Deputy President told the country's business community to be patient with the government as they work on improving the economy.

"By the time we took over the government, we found a Ksh9.8 trillion debt owed. It was no longer possible to continue borrowing. It was not sustainable to continue subsidizing fuel and unga. We found the fuel subsidy program had a debt of Ksh140 billion but we have managed to pay Ksh120 billion. That was not going to be an option because it was not sustainable. Fuel situation is a global situation," he added.

Gachagua also stated that allowing returning subsidies of fuel would lead to high taxation on workers and entrepreneurs.

Additionally, he said the 2 billion dollars borrowed from Eurobond by the previous administration was not well thought out because of its high interest rate.

"We are asking Kenyans to be a little patient because things are getting better every day. We have many infrastructure projects, which stopped two years before the 2022 elections, but from taxes collected contractors have returned to site," he said.

He stated that the revenues being collected were going towards expenditure and payment of debts.

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