War against illicit brews is changing Gachagua's fortunes

Security personell destroy some of the illicit brew that was confisticated in a previous crackdown. [Samson Wire, Standard]

There is nothing ridiculous with being satisfied that DP Rigathi Gachagua's incessant excursions into the recesses of the Mountain are exclusively to obliterate killer brews and, or, to give the shameless cartels ringing the coffee trade, a thrashing.

For the first time, there is a ray of light at the end of this dark tunnel and the people are happy that the hand holding the torch belongs to a son of the soil. The events that preceded the 2022 General Election also sought to know who between the contestants, pitting the UDA party under the then deputy president, William Ruto, and Azimio's Rails Odinga, could scale the Mountain; which literally meant commanding the region's 6.7 million votes.

Both candidates claimed to be unassailable, but the final vote count proved Dr Ruto was the darling of the mountain region. The exit of presidential contenders left the Mountain to the inhabitants and before long the former concern of 'scaling' shifted to 'kingpinship'. With UDA's seismic showing in the Mountain, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua's voice also stood a better chance, being the second most powerful man in the land.

There is a pocket of people who saw former President Uhuru Kenyatta as the choice spokesman for the GEMA hegemony, against a burgeoning number of those who believe Kenyatta's claim to speaking for the Mountain fizzled out with the end of his presidency.

Albeit inadvertently, Gachagua's road to the Mountain's kingship has hugely been propped up by the gusto with which he has lurched at the coffee and illicit brews issues that have, for almost an eternity, assailed the central hub with a brazen abandon. Even from a distance, the DP has come to right some of the worst wrongs known to his people and he is mostly seen as fighting his people's battles that nobody else could.

The fact, that Gachagua has promised to deal with any impediments that could bedevil the extirpation of illicit brews, or the profligate cartels in the coffee sector, has greatly endeared him where it mostly matters.

Apart from Uhuru, Murang'a Governor Mwangi wa Iria has occasionally had long shots at the Mountain's kingpinship and all his shots appear to have been homing on Gachagua, a pointer that the DP is at the forefront of those willingly, or otherwise, contesting for this slot. The Mountain has at long last retrieved its smile from where it lost it many years ago. Coffee, their 'black gold' is now on a return trajectory and the gong has also gone out for the beginning of the end of killer brews that have consigned the young to 'zombism'.

The Mountain people want to speak and be listened to, but they are not comfortable with who to trust with this noble task. For now, we shall all keep guessing for this is how we are programmed to do. In the meantime, the jigsaw puzzle keeps falling into place.

Mr Muturi is a resident of Nyeri County