When Rigathi Gachagua speaks, which is often, there is a certain aggression that leaps to his eyes, his teeth flare, like fangs of a dangerous animal about to pounce.
Surprisingly, he bares his teeth even when he’s on to good things, and no pouncing is needed.
Like the day he beseeched the Kenya Kwanza flag bearer Bill Ruto and comrade-in arms, to fuata nyayo, and do what the departed Prezzo Moi used to do in the days of yore: he urged Ruto, if elected, that he should open the floodgates of the Sagana Lodge and let in the villagers.
There, Gachagua said, his fangs looking sharper, as though readying for the feast, locals would feast on meat and rice, a literal gravy train made specially for them.
In these hard times, when more than half of our people live on one meal a day, that would be a thoughtful gesture. But since Gachagua isn’t known for many virtues, he did not elaborate on the frequency of presidential feeding programme. Perhaps he thinks a single presidential meal would keep one going for a few months, before needing to eat again, by which time, another banquet would be unveiled.
Well, Gachagua hasn’t offered any meal, but he continues to talk about the prospects of feeding, so his mind is seized with this business of eating.
This week, Gachagua spoke again, expanding his vision of a future that includes plentiful of meat-eating.
This time, he said he will bring meat even closer to his people.
This is a paraphrase: “I will access the money frozen by the government once we take charge. And I’ll build a nice place in Konyu (a ward in his Mathira Constituency), where men will eat meat and enjoy their drink, while women will visit Gachagua’s mother (his wife) slurping on their porridge and dancing and praying…”
With his fangs flared, ready to bite, he said: “In fact, since women love dancing so much, I’ll buy a kinanda for you so you dance all you want. Isn’t that what you want?”
The question is delivered with menace. It’s as though any contrary opinion would trigger a retaliatory action that includes sinking of the fangs.
But Gachagua does get delusional at times, as when he speaks about his frozen billions, the cash isn’t his anymore; it belongs to the Assets Recovery Authority, unless he can prove he made it legitimately.
And for a man who purports to own so much, Gachagua manifests something called “sociology of the poor” and which, ironically, is best exemplified by his obsession with meat.
Those who grew up in circumstances as mine will recall a meat feast did not surpass one or two tiny pieces of fry, delivered on the palm of the hand.
Many of us assumed that they would consume more meat when they could afford it, to compensate for those lean times, and will easily gobble a whole roast of mkono, even when science counsels that it’s unhealthy to do so.
But this knowledge is yet to reach Konyu village, where the gospel, according to Gachagua, places meat-eating as the epitome of social success. And no one can dare contradict him, lest he sinks his fangs in protest.