Wavinya faults Gachagua over remarks on bipartisan talks

Machakos Governor Wavinya Ndeti when she appeared before the  Senate Lands and Environment committee at KICC. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

Machakos Governor Wavinya Ndeti has faulted Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua’s remarks that nothing good would come out of the bipartisan talks between Kenya Kwanza and Azimio coalitions.

Wavinya said Gachagua’s remarks did not auger well with the Akamba community, urging him to retract on his sentiments.

She was addressing the media on Wednesday in Mwala constituency during public participation forums for the county’s Annual Development Plan (ADP).

During the burial ceremony of Mwala MP Vincent Musau’s mother, the late Anne Kalekye, the DP claimed the talks between Kenya Kwanza and Azimio will not yield anything meaningful because the elections had long been concluded.

Gachagua’s remarks were drawn from his assertion that the Akamba community needed to forge a political path away from Wiper party leader, Kalonzo Musyoka whom he accused for misleading the community politically for the past 25 years.

DP Rigathi Gachagua with Machakos deputy governor Francis Mwangangi during the burial of Mwala MP Vincent Musau’s mother, the late Anne Kalekye. [Erastus Mulwa, Standard]

“The talks you are waiting for to happen under the leadership of Kalonzo will bear no fruit. Raila did a handshake with President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2018 and struck a deal without involving Kalonzo that saw many development projects channelled to Nyanza. Did Kalonzo bring any development in Ukambani as a result of that handshake? So why do you still follow him after doing that for the community?” said Gachagua.

In the latest engagement with President Ruto, the DP said that Raila has again left Kalonzo out and is only pursuing his own interests.

He said no agenda for the development of the Ukambani region is captured in Raila’s intended talks with Ruto.

Deputy Governor Francis Mwangangi urged the DP to intervene in the dualing of the Nairobi-Kangundo highway which he said had been neglected for many years.

Mwangangi also lauded President William Ruto’s administration for supporting devolution and development in the constituencies.

“The President and DP have scored a distinction in terms of disbursing cash to counties and constituencies. But to strengthen devolution further, we need quality policy and legislation which can only be achieved through the autonomy of the county assemblies in terms of funding,” said Mwangangi.

Mwangangi urged the House Committee on Budget to consider the operationalization of the Ward Development Fund in order to ensure equitable development in every part of the country.

Matungulu MP, Stephen Mule urged the Government to fast track the clean-up of River Athi whose water has been condemned.

Wavinya however observed that Gachagua was out of order to comment on a subject that had been sanctioned by the Head of State.

“I am sure my party leader knows what he is doing. It is the President himself who sanctioned these talks and therefore it was not good for his deputy to say that the talks were useless. If that is the case, then, should we say that we abandon the bipartisan talks altogether?” charged Wavinya.

The governor said Gachagua’s remarks largely angered Ukambani residents who hold immense reverence for Kalonzo, and that the timing and the forum for such pronouncement was completely inappropriate.

“I have a lot of respect for the DP but as a national leader he should be cautious about what he says in public gatherings. He should allow the talks to proceed so that we see what comes out of them,” she said.