A brother to a Nyeri Governor Nderitu Gachagua had to carry a box full of medicinal herbs to the United Kingdom.
Rigathi Gachagua said he carried arrow roots, sweet potatoes, packets of maize and porridge flour. Women from his rural home in Kiamariga, Mathira West also helped him gather the stinging nettle, locally known as hatha. But since the bag was too bulky, he was subjected to thorough screening when he arrived at Heathrow International Airport.
“It was frustrating. They exposed what I had carried, but that would not stop me from taking the traditional herbs to my sick brother,” he told a congregation at Mary Immaculate Catholic Church in Karatina during Gachagua’s thanksgiving.
“The stinging nettle did wonders. It’s sharp thorns pricked the officers and they left me alone,” he said to the amusement of the congregation.
Rigathi further narrated how the appealing smell of ugali which Gachagua’s daughter was preparing for her sick father, pulled a Kenyan woman to their room.
“She knocked at our door and asked for a piece, but since it was just enough for my brother, we gave her a packet of maize flour.”
Rigathi said that amazingly, the two-month hospitalisation drew the politician closer to God.
“At one time, the doctor came back with medical examination results and he asked him how many close family members had accompanied him. He said four, while in fact we were just three. We were called in, and when the doctor asked the whereabouts of the fourth person, he said it was God,” Rigathi said.
Gachagua was admitted at a London hospital due to an undisclosed ailment early this year. When he arrived back in Kenya, he proceeded straight to Nyeri.
He was accompanied in London by Rigathi and his daughters, Mercy and Susan