By Special Political Analysts, Nairobi – July 10, 2022
After months of speculation on his choice for running mate, William Ruto settled on Rigathi Gachagua. This surprised many, including Kenya Kwanza adherents. But for Ruto, this Game Plan is clear cut and calculated for the long haul of making corruption a national creed.
He applied the maxim of true game theory in settling on Gachagua. Here is why. Ruto knows the best way to attain power is to bag the Mt. Kenya vote bloc. He is also aware his best bet to retain power in 2027, if he ascends to the Presidency (God forbid), is by destroying Mt. Kenya unity, its politicians and its economy beginning with Mount Kenya Foundation business empire. That is how Gachagua became the fulcrum of his game Plan – The Plan to destroy Central Kenya – Moi style that was used to destroy thousands of lives of Central Kenya diaspora in Rift Valley in the past.
When the late President Daniel Moi made Gachagua a District Officer (DO) in 1980s, the President knew he needed a youthful Kikuyu as a henchman to mete out oppression to the Kikuyu community. This trick, Moi discerned, would transfer blame from him to the henchman allowing the President to exert oppression through surrogates. Moi’s war against the Kikuyu was driven by Youth for Kanu 1992 (YK’92) in which Ruto was a key player.
Moi therefore made Gachagua his close ally. He ensured Gachagua served as a well lavished University of Nairobi students spy and as a DO in Kiambaa in Kiambu and Molo, Nakuru, and as in the President’s office where he was planted as a personal assistant to Uhuru Kenyatta. It worked like plastic surgery. He was fired by Uhuru when Ksh 3 million disappeared from his Range Rover under Gachagua’s watch.
In Kiambaa, for example, Moi used Gachagua to extort money from businesses in the area. Gachagua established an elaborate extortion network that included militia to collect illegal taxes and hunt down multiparty politics supporters. The DO did not see his actions were impoverishing his own community. He did not care about destroying multiparty leaders – including Kenneth Matiba.
As DO in Molo, a place Moi wanted Kikuyus to vacate, Gachagua meted out untold suffering to residents including their MP Njenga Mungai. Moi used the youthful DO to destabilize communities and repatriate Kikuyus back to their ancestral lands in Central Kenya. But why was Gachagua blind to the plight of Kikuyus despite being a Kikuyu himself?
That was because Moi made Gachagua comfortable by allowing the DO to steal and make wealth – lots of it! Granted an opportunity to acquire public resources, Gachagua would later dig into his home Nyeri County where his brother was governor entrench himself as the chief supplier of everything and loot billions.
Ruto’s running mate position, as the Deputy President had attracted 6 hopefuls. These included Kandara MP Alice Wahome, Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro, National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi, Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru, Tharaka Nithi Senator Kithure Kindiki and ultimately the Mathira lawmaker.
But the race went down to the wire between the Kindiki and Gachagua. Sources indicate consensus building on who between the two would deputise Ruto in Kenya kwanza hit a snag. This was at the center of the 17-hour long deadlock. With consensus efforts bearing no fruit, Ruto and his team resorted to opinion polls conducted internally, to unlock the stalemate.
The first poll conducted internally by a strategy and research team headed by former Cabinet Secretary Davis Chirchir involved 10,000 respondents drawn from 10 Mt. Kenya counties. In that poll, Kindiki trounced Gachagua, with Waiguru coming in third.
In the second survey, conducted nationwide in the 47 counties involved 25,000 respondents. Kindiki yet again emerging top, with Waiguru and Gachagua second and third respectively. Buoyed by the numerical strength from the polls, Kindiki stood his ground even as Gachagua refused to budge. Central Kenya UDA MPs were called in for a vote. Senator Kindiki once again trounced Gachagua.
Out of the 31 Mt. Kenya UDA MPs present, 22 voted in favour of Kindiki 5 voted for Gachagua, two backed Waiguru, while Muturi obtained one vote, with one rejected vote. This emboldened the Tharaka Nithi Senator who had now set his sights on the country’s second most coveted job, should Kenya Kwanza clinch the presidency in August.
Kindiki’s popularity notwithstanding, Gachagua dug in. Unlike Kindiki, Gachagua was accompanied by his wife and was carrying a prepared acceptance speech. Sources say the Mathira MP had quietly secured the assurance of the Deputy President that he was his ultimate choice for the position.
And with DP Ruto’s intervention, the light dimmed on Kindiki’s running mate prospects as it shone in Gachagua’s favour. The Mathira MP claimed to be charismatic, a mobiliser and a great campaigner. This making him topple Kindiki from the pecking order. Kindiki would later be compromised with cash.
None of the participants in the night of intrigues was willing to offer more than passing references of what was a deadlocked process. Gachagua blackmailed Ruto with a demand of Ksh 7.9 billion he said he had used for Ruto presidential campaign.
Irked by the turn of events and feeling betrayed, Professor Kithure Kindiki skipped the event to unveil Gachagua as Ruto’s running mate. A section of Central Kenya MPs ought audience with deputy president to explain their misgivings with his choice and challenges they foresaw in selling the Ruto-Gachagua ticket in the August contest but he dismissed them. Put simply, Ruto and Gachagua are the same side of a corruption coin.
Gachagua is considered abrasive and with corruption allegations hanging over his shoulders, the Kenya Kwanza immediate task is to confront the wave of criticism that being levelled against the wealthy former administrator – among them massive looting of Nyeri County coffers for which he is under DCI investigation. See; http://kenyaconfidential.com/2022/06/30/rutos-running-mate-implicated-in-massive-nyeri-county-government-looting/ via @kenyaconfidential.com