Gachagua, Kuria face off over Mt Kenya unity bid

Public Service CS Moses Kiarie Kuria with Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua during launch of enhanced Nairobi securities exchange market place. [Wilberforce Okwiri,Standard]

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua publicly clashed with Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria on Saturday as the divisions in President Ruto’s government appeared to widen.

Whereas the Deputy President claimed some senior government officials had laid an elaborate plan to sabotage him by holding secret meetings to plot his downfall, Kuria hit back, dismissing what he said were efforts to drive Mt Kenya region out of government. 

The DP also claimed that some MPs who are sympathetic to his cause had been coerced to abandon him. 

“Some leaders are being intimidated. They are being coerced and threatened that if they support my unity bid, they will not have development projects in their constituencies,” said Gachagua.

On the other hand, Public Service Cabinet Secretary Kuria—one of Gachagua’s harshest critics —said he would not sit idly by as “some people who are fond of complaining” try to drive Mt Kenya region out the government. 

“I will not be part of a leadership that is going to cheat our people, a group that is going to lead our people astray. We have never sat down to plot for our downfall politically. Let us first enjoy the fruits of our labour in this administration before plotting our future,” said Kuria.

He added: “You want us to move away from the government to be asking for development from who? We asked for votes from our electorate and we must now tell them about development such as water, roads and coffee gains.”

Spread propaganda

Speaking during the burial of tycoon Gerald Kanyuira in Kangema, Murang’a on Saturday, Gachagua claimed there was a CS who has been holding secret meetings with Members of County Assemblies from Mt Kenya region and giving them Sh20,000 each to fight him.   

According to the DP, there was a scheme to spread propaganda about him, with two Cabinet Secretaries from Mt Kenya region being part of the plot.

One of the CSs, Gachagua claimed, was planning his anti-Gachagua messaging in Karen Nairobi while the other had been meeting Members of County Assemblies from Mt Kenya region.

“A Minister from our community was in Nyahururu with 150 MCAs and explained to them an agenda of initiating a campaign against me on claims that my unity bid will isolate our community and later gave them Sh20,000 each. The MCAs pocketed the money but objected to the minister’s task,” he said.

He claimed another group of MCAs met the CS on Friday and each got Sh150,000 with similar instructions to malign his name.

Kuria later told The Sunday Standard that he held a meeting with a group of MCAs and that the agenda was to ask them to unite behind President William Ruto’s administration.

“I met with MCAs from Kirinyaga and Nyeri counties and talked to them about supporting the government policies because it is us who voted for this administration,” he said.

He said that he had given the MCAs some money to facilitate their travel to and from the meeting venue. 

Gachagua had complained that another CS had rented an office in Karen, “which was being used by former Interior Minister Fred Matiang’i, to strategise on my unity  campaign and plant divisions in our community but all that work is a waste of time because our people are clever and are united.” 

He added, “I hear some people have been told to write that my children and I are buying homes and hotels but I ask them how we will we fail to buy yet we are business people. Before I got my position and some money, I was still labelled a billionaire in newspapers but after getting my position I left business to my children.”

Gachagua maintained that he was only the voice of the voiceless and his push for unity and the one man, one vote, one shilling campaign was the peoples’ voice.

“Our people are already united, they are now waiting for what we will decide in the near future,” he said even as he promised to name and shame his detractors.

He dismissed his  critics as brokers who were collecting stipends from their masters to facilitate the plot to sabotage him.

“It is  unfortunate that when they were telling people the country has no money and imposing high taxes, some were carrying money in sacks and dishing it out in fundraisings,” he said.

He added: “I urge those of us in government who have their stomachs full not to vomit on our people. Stop arrogance and pride and address our electorate with decorum and humility and remember that the electorate is their boss.”