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Joker or rogue DP? Case of Rigathi Gachagua

 Deputy president Rigathi Gachagua. On several occasions, the DP’s gaffes have contradicted the position of President William Ruto. [DPCS]

Months after he was sworn in as the second in command, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua seems to hold split political personality.

Mr Gachagua’s nature oscillates between a man cognizant of who he is in the country’s power matrix and a politician seeking validation from the public that looks up to him. 

President William Ruto’s deputy is well aware that he is a step away from the presidency and does not waste the opportunity to exert his power.

But on the other hand, the second in command is a sulking politician full of lamentations about the previous government and is stuck in a rut of the bitter 2022 campaigns.

His public pronouncements paint a picture of a leader who is conflicted between the current reality and the past. The two faces of the DP compliment and injure the tenets of Kenya Kwanza government.

On several occasions, the DP’s gaffes have contradicted the position of President Ruto, painting a picture of a disjointed government.

Over the weekend, Gachagua appeared like a politician who had nothing presidential apart from the security and the protocol that he enjoyed during the events.

The DP was caught on camera assisting in reconstruction of houses demolished by an auctioneer who had orders from the court. The homeowners had been evicted from a disputed land in Kiriko village, Rongai, Nakuru County.

The court issued the orders in a ruling over a long-running land ownership dispute between two land buying companies.

The evicted families had lost the case over the ownership of the land at the High Court, Court of Appeal and at the Chief Magistrates court, in a matter that had been handled by Nakuru Chief Magistrate Joseph Kalo, Principal Magistrate Wendy Kagendo, Justices Phillip Waki, Martha Koome, Hannah Okwengu and David Maraga.

Eight months after a ruling on April last year, the police executed an order that was supposed to have been implemented in June last year. However, the DP not only went against the court order but ordered for action against the former Nakuru County Police Commander Peter Mwanzo who deployed police officers to provide security during the February 16 evictions.

“These people are not going anywhere. I have come with 70 iron sheets, a bag of rice and beans and Sh10,000 in cash for each family. The county police commander has been removed,” he said.

“We have a professional police service but we have a few bad officers among them. We shall follow up on their case. This action has brought a lot of shame to the Kenya Kwanza government which is a people’s administration,” said Gachagua.

 DP Rigathi Gachagua at Kiriko village in Rongai, Nakuru County, after assisting in reconstruction of houses demolished by an auctioneer who had orders from the court. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard] 

Following Gachagua’s intervention in the mattter, Mwanzo was recalled to Vigilance House in Nairobi and replaced.

Hours later, the DP while touring projects in Kericho, declared that government appointments and contracts are a preserve of those who voted for Kenya Kwanza.

Gachagua said the government will reward its staunch supporters and give the least consideration to members of the opposition.

“This government is a company that has shares. There are owners who have the majority of shares, and those with just a few, while others do not have any. You invested in this government and you must reap. You sowed, tilled, put manure and irrigated, and now it is time to reap,” said Gachagua.

The DP went ahead, to the amusement of those in the congregation, to aver that he had appointed himself the guardian of State House and will ensure that all those who did not support Kenya Kwanza are locked out of all plum government positions.

“That is my work at State House; controlling that queue and deciding who is ahead of whom,” he added.

During the swearingiin ceremony at Kasarani Stadium on September 13 last year Ruto vowed to be the president of all Kenyans and promised that the time for political campaigns were over.

“I will work with all Kenyans irrespective of who they voted for,” Ruto said in his inauguration speech.

In his first day in office as he had promised during the campaigns, to ensure the independence of Judiciary and the police, the president and went ahead to swear in six judges who had been rejected by his predecessor and scaled up the budgetary allocation to the Judiciary by an additional Sh3 billion annually for the next five years.

 Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua. His public pronouncements paint a picture of a leader who is conflicted between the current reality and the past. [DPCS]

Ruto appointed six Court of Appeal judges Korir Weldon Kipyegon, Muchelule Aggrey Otsyula, Odunga George Vincent and Joel Mwaura Ngugi while Makori Evans Kiago and Cheruiyot Omange Judith Elizabeth in Environment and Land Court. 

“To consolidate the place of the Judiciary in our constitutional and democratic dispensation, my administration will respect judicial decisions while we cement the place of Kenya as a country anchored on democracy and the rule of law,” he said.

Former president Uhuru Kenyatta declined to appoint the six judges saying there were adverse reports against them from the intelligence service.

On his first day in office, Ruto also signed an Executive Order giving the National Police Service (NPS) financial autonomy with the Inspector General as the Accounting Officer and saying the move was aimed at ending dependency on Office of the President.

The two public bloopers this weekend are not isolated cases by the DP, a month ago two Chiefs and an Assistant Chief from his Mathira constituency in Nyeri County reported him to Mathira East Deputy County Commissioner Peter Gicheha, claiming that he had he had threated them.

The three Dadson Ithiru, George Mukabi and assistant chief Burton Chiuma claim that the DP called them at night, and threatened to sack them over allegations of supporting Azimio leader Raila Odinga in the 2022 General Election.

One of the chiefs said the DP told them that he should spend time looking for another job because his sacking was in the offing.

The matter could have caught the attention of the President who days latter told senior government officials to respect their juniors.

Yesterday, Azimio National Assembly Minority Whip and Suna East MP Junet Mohamed wondered why Kenyans should pay taxes if the government belongs to some people.

“If the government has become a company with shareholders then how do Kenyans pay their taxes to a company belonging to two individuals,” tweeted Junet.

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