New Nyeri Governor to be sworn in as Gakuru's burial plans firm up

Nyeri Deputy Governor Mutahi Kahiga.  [Photo:Courtesy]

Deputy Governor Mutahi Kahiga is set to be sworn in as the county's fourth governor on Monday 13.

The deputy governor takes over from Governor Wahome Gakuru, who died in a car crash last week

The clergy is expected to conduct a cleansing ceremony at the county government offices this morning ahead of the swearing-in ceremony in the afternoon.

The county has lost two governors in a span of nine months. In February, the first governor, Nderitu Gachagua, died of pancreatic cancer in a London hospital.

Mr Kahiga’s swearing-in is expected to put to rest uncertainty over the fate of his ascension to power following reports that some local leaders intended to block him from taking office.

Plans to swear in the former Kenya National Union of Teachers official last Thursday were put off at the last minute, raising suspicions among his supporters that there was a plot to block him.

In contrast, Gachagua's successor, Samuel Wamathai, took office just three days after the death of his boss.

But the deputy governor has denied that he is under pressure from some powerful forces to relinquish the seat and allow for a fresh election.

“I am not under any pressure from any leaders. My mind is clear and focused on the funeral and I can assure you that the swearing-in ceremony will take place,” he said.

Meanwhile, preparations for Dr Gakuru's funeral continued at his rural Kirichu home. Yesterday, several leaders visited the home to condole with the family.

Central Regional Co-ordinator Ann Ngetich said the burial arrangements were on schedule.

Among those who visited Gakuru's family were Kahiga, governors Ferdinand Waititu (Kiambu) and Ndiritu Muriithi (Laikipia), MPs Ngunjiri Wambugu (Nyeri Town), Moses Kuria (Gatundu South) and Kanini Kega (Kieni), and County Assembly Speaker John Kaguchia.