Gachagua needs Uhuru blessings to be Mt Kenya kingpin, MPs say

Former President Uhuru Kenyatta(left) with interact with President William Ruto(centre) and Deputy Rigathi Gachagua during the swearing in at Kasarani stadium on September 13, 2022. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

A section of United Democratic Alliance Party lawmakers have revived efforts to reconcile Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua and former President Uhuru Kenyatta. 

The talks which are being spearheaded by Kieni MP Njoroge Wainaina began after President William Ruto went against his lieutenant's hard stance over possible dialogue with opposition chief Raila Odinga.

Mr Wainaina first led MPs James Gakuya (Embakasi North), Benjamin Gathiru (Embakasi Central) and John Kiarie KJ (Dagoretti South) to meet Gachagua at his Harambee House Annex office, Nairobi, in December last year, but the DP dismissed the idea.  

The Kieni MP said an elder belonging to the Kiama Kia Ma group and the three MPs have a good rapport with the former President and if the DP had agreed to the plan, it would have been an easy task for them.  

"Uhuru is an elder and has maintained a good rapport with some of us despite our political affiliation. But after our efforts flopped in December, I went back to the drawing board. With the President declaring willingness to engage Raila, I have renewed my hopes to reconcile the two leaders," he said.

According to the first-time MP, Gachagua stands to benefit if Uhuru is on his side. He warned that should Raila bring the former President to Ruto's fold, the DP would lose.  

"That is the idea I had in mind in December when I convened the first meeting. If Uhuru comes on board under Gachagua, he will remain the point man even when the other two (Ruto and Raila) want anything to do with Mt Kenya region. But if Raila brings Uhuru on board, Gachagua will be politically eclipsed," said Wainaina.  

An MP who is among the group championing the reconciliation efforts said Gachagua was bullish and dismissed the push for talks between Raila and Ruto. 

"He dismissed us like political toddlers and said their unity with the president was so intact that there was no way Ruto could work with Raila and, by extension, the former President. He did not realize that we were only helping his political future," the MP said.  

The lawmaker believes that Uhuru remains a political force to reckon with in 2027 especially based on the performance of the Kenya Kwanza administration.  

"Our electorate has huge expectations and we fear that some of our promises may not be met in 2027. This would mean that if Uhuru makes true his decision to remain active politically, he could sponsor our opponents to take our seats," the MP from Nairobi said.  

Wainaina is seeking to involve the Kiama Kia Ma, Kikuyu Council of Elders, and a section of church leaders to broker a truce between Uhuru and Gachagua.  

"Uhuru was able to marshall support for Azimio leader Raila Odinga and for the first time, he garnered over 800,000 votes from Mt Kenya region. We need these votes in our basket in the next General Election," he said.  

The Kieni MP is optimistic that the reconciliation would give Gachagua a say in the politics of kingship since he will not only contain Uhuru politically, but he will also command respect in the Kenya Kwanza administration.

Kikuyu Council of Elders chairperson Wachira Kiago welcomed efforts to reconcile Uhuru and Gachagua.

Mr Kiago revealed that the Agikuyu tools of power, which include special sticks (muthigi), a sword (ruhiu), and blowing horn (coro) are still possessed by Uhuru and if reconciliation efforts are successful, they could open another chapter of transition.

"Elders have been going to the forest to pray for our unity and there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel. When the two leaders are in peace, our community will benefit and demand political respect from other communities," he said.  

Political strategist, Prof Peter Kagwanja said Gachagua's political future depends on whether he will be in a position to unite the region, gain political friends from outside Mt Kenya region and bring Uhuru on board. He believes this will give the DP a major political breakthrough.

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