Resolve your wrangles, DP Gachagua tells Meru leaders

When Governor Kawira Mwangaza recently hosted President William Ruto and Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua at Laare in Meru for a development tour. [Phares Mutembei, Standard]

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has announced that he and President William Ruto will keep off the protracted leadership wrangles in Meru county.

Gachagua who spoke during a fundraiser for Kaelo Methodist Church in Igembe North said it was up to Governor Kawira Mwangaza, her deputy Isaac Mutuma and other leaders to solve their issues.

President Ruto and DP Gachagua are credited with mediating a truce between Governor Mwangaza and MCAs earlier this year after the representatives impeached her last December. 

The Senate overturned the impeachment, and the presidency brought the feuding parties together during negotiations spearheaded by Mr Gachagua.

But the MCAs, MPs and Senator Kathuri Murungi are now on one side, with MCAs having started another process of impeaching Mwangaza.

Mwangaza claims the MPs and Senator Murungi are working with MCAs to have her impeached, accusations the legislators have not refuted.

On Sunday, Gachagua washed his hands off the dispute saying they had left the matter in the hands of Meru leaders.

"We have talked with the governor, her deputy and other leaders. We have agreed that the problems in Meru will be resolved by Meru leaders," he said.

Mr Gachagua said they had also held talks with Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi, clergy and other leaders over the wrangles pitting the governor and the Ward reps.

"I am appealing to all the leaders, the governor, Senator, CS Linturi and clergy to sit and decide what is good for Meru," he said.

Gachagua regarded Meru as his home because his father, who hails from Nyeri, married a woman (his mother) from Meru.

"I am not a visitor here. This is home. My father is from Nyeri, and my mother is from here. So this is my home. Nobody can remove me from here," he revealed.

He said Meru had a special place in his and Dr Ruto's hearts, and they wanted to see the county leaders united.

"I successfully medicated peace among leaders in Kericho and Kiambu. Please, my dear brothers and sisters of the county of my mother, please let's look for peace for development," he said.

Senator Murungi said he and MCAs will defend devolution because it's their mandate.

"If Meru fails, it is I, and MCAs who will be blamed," said Murungi, who Mwangaza has claimed wants her seat in 2027 and is thus working with MCAs to sabotage her agenda.

Deputy Governor Mutuma asked for prayers for unity "So that we can move forward".

Meanwhile, Mwangaza has indicated she is heading to President Ruto’s United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party.

Mwangaza won both the Meru woman rep (2017) and Governor last year as an independent candidate but for the first time, said she was ready to join the ruling party.

Speaking when she was hosted by Jamlick Mwongera and Ben Mugambi on the vernacular Muuga FM on Friday night, the county chief said she was heeding unity calls by President Ruto and Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua, hence her decision.

“The Deputy President has been in Meru and has welcomed me to join UDA three times. Everywhere he has been, he asked my supporters if they wanted me to the party, and the people said yes. Ultimately, the President came to Laare, and he welcomed me to join,” said Ms Mwangaza.

In declaring her intention to become a member of UDA Mwangaza said as a leader, she was committed to her bosses (President and DP) calls and thus had made the big decision to join UDA.

“I am not the kind of person who does not obey leaders. So the only thing remaining is for me to be robed in UDA colours and join the party in style!” she said.

Speaking about her fall-out with her deputy Isaac Mutuma and other political leaders in Meru Mwangaza said she harboured no ill feelings and was ready for unity for the sake of development.

She said she was ready for reconciliation to sit down with Mutuma, whom she had previously accused of working with Meru politicians who want her out of office.

Mwangaza said she was pained after she picked Mutuma as her deputy out of many potential candidates, but he had now turned against her and is working with her opponents.

“It pains me that after I chose him as my deputy and I fully funded our campaigns, but he has turned against me. I am not against unity, but I want a neutral person to mediate unity,” she said.