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DP Rigathi Gachagua in dilemma over official house

 Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua at his private residence in Karen, Nairobi. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]

To move houses or to stay put.

That is the question bothering Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua when it comes to the official residence which is in the same neighbourhood as his private residence, a place he has called home for over twenty years.

President William Ruto, who is supposed to move to State House is still occupying the DP's official residence, and sources say, the former is under renovation.

"The renovations at State House have started and may take about three months before the Head of State moves into its living quarters. In the meantime, he will continue using State House offices while residing at Karen," said a source who sought anonymity.

Gachagua has now been left wrestling with what he said was a difficult decision: to leave his home, just 10 kilometres away, for the deputy president's official residence, which is on ten acres, or not.

"It is a difficult decision. I have lived here for the last 24 years and I have such an emotional attachment to this home. My children grew up here; my parents lived with me here for many years," he told KTN News on Sunday.

"It is a tough decision for me just to walk away from a home where you have lived for 24 years and go and start a new home."

While Gachagua acknowledged that President Ruto had already made State House his new base of operation, he said he was still coming to terms with his new situation.

The official residence of the deputy president is ready, he said, "but I'm yet to come to terms with the new situation," said Gachagua.

"I still feel better to sleep here and wake up here... you really get used to your home, you like your bed, you like the way you wake up, you like the environment. So I'm still here trying to figure it out."

 DP Rigathi Gachagua (left) is taken around his Harambee Annex offices, September 19, 2022. [DPPS, Standard]

In any case, he said, there was no hurry and eventually, he would move to the official residence.

"Work is going on and in due course, I will move to the official residence but I need to digest the changes and all the things going on around me. They are momentous. I am yet to acclimatise, digest and accept the new situation and status. It was overwhelming so I need to take a bit of time," the DP told KTN's Sophia Wanuna in an exclusive TV interview.

In 2013, Ruto was reluctant to shift to the official residence but had to because of security and logistics given that the deputy president has security personnel that must be housed within the compound.

Former Vice President Moody Awori was meant to be the house's first occupant, but the delay in completing it saw him retire without moving in. Kalonzo Musyoka, too, left the vice presidency without moving in.

The late President Mwai Kibaki officially opened the residence in November 2012.

"This complex will, therefore, ensure that the occupant of the Office of the Vice President has a convenient and adequately secured residence," Kibaki said.

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