DP Gachagua, speak less for Central and more for the country

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua arrives during the 59th Jamhuri Day celebrations at the Nyayo National Stadium on December 12, 2022. [Kelly Ayodi, Standard]

It is hard for DP Rigathi Gachagua to mask his love for Mt Kenya. And it is not hard to tell why. Almost the entire mountain region defied President Uhuru Kenyatta's call to rally behind his chosen successor, Azimio leader Raila Odinga and elected William Ruto and his running mate Gachagua. That was unexpected and unprecedented.

Without the overwhelming support of Mt Kenya, Ruto could have lost to Raila. Mr Gachagua, therefore, has every reason to be grateful to the mountain. That perhaps explains his overflowing love for the region.

The deputy president has been speaking highly about the region at every turn and publicly defending its interests. Indeed, a good turn deserves another.

However, some of his utterances makes it appear as if is favouring or cares more about the region at expense of the rest of the country.

Recently, he told off Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja over his plans to kick out matatu out of the CBD. He saw that as an affront on the Mt Kenya businesspeople and directed Mr Sakaja to go slow on the plan.

Although they may be the majority, people from the mountain are not the only ones who own matatu in the city. So he sends the wrong signal when he only talks about the interests of Mt Kenya matatu owners.

Mr Gachagua has also not been hiding his joy about Mt Kenya getting lion's share of lucrative government positions, arguing that they deserve it for voting overwhelmingly for Kenya Kwanza.

As Kenyans expect the government to share the national cake equally, that has caused disillusionment in some quarters. The deputy president should stop rubbing salt into the wounds of those who feel aggrieved.

While such statements may endear him more to the people of the mountain, they have the exact opposite effect in other regions. That is not good for him and Kenya Kwanza. The DP and even the president should wisely navigate 'bedroom' politics so that they do not appear to be favouring their own communities. The Presidency is an important office and must always strive to unite the country by catering for the interests of all through their words and deeds.