DP’s antics place him in league with lesser men

Wednesday, June 5th, 2024 00:00 | By
Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua
Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua. PHOTO/@rigathi/X

After the advent of pluralist politics in December 1991, President Moi was able to rule the nation for two five-year terms without much political support of the populous Kikuyu and Luo tribes.

When Mwai Kibaki was President, he reigned in his second term with dismal the election backing of the Luo, Kalenjin and Kamba ethnic groups.

In his two terms as the fourth President, Uhuru Kenyatta ruled without a sizeable political support of the Luo, Kamba and most of the Luhyia and coastal communities.

President William Ruto rose to power with very little electoral boost from the Luo, Kamba, Coast communities and the Abagusii.

The point to learn from this history is that no single tribe in Kenya today can deem itself indispensable. This is a point full of truth that the courtiers of Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua need to whisper to the ‘Truthful Men’ with utmost urgency.

So because Gachagua is lately shouting himself hoarse from the constitutionally established position of Deputy President into a sentimental one as the Kikuyu supremo.

Last weekend, every Kenyan politician of note, right from the President himself down to Ward Representatives, was talking about and condemning negative ethnicity.

What they did not state directly was that they were reacting to Gachagua’s theatrics and renditions in the Mt Kenya region of Kikuyu nationalism.

That is a very unfortunate situation for the second-in-command of any country to find themselves in. Especially so when Kenya and other countries in its neighbourhood under the aegis of the East African Community (EAC) are spending so much time, money, energy and manpower to establish a working formula for a federation.

Gachagua’s pursuit of the supremacy of his Kikuyu community over the other 44 in Kenya undermines the EAC’s dream for a federation and the desired national cohesion and integration.

The DP read Literature, Government and Political Science at the University of Nairobi in the late 1980s. He is fluent in both English and Swahili. He served in the provincial administration for 15 years. He, therefore, understands the workings of government like the back of his hand.

But for unexplained reasons, Gachagua is very comfortable talking down to Kenyans and denigrating them quite so often in his Kikuyu in front of national and international media.

I wonder what Uganda President Yoweri Museveni, who has for long remained an advocate of Swahili as the common language of choice within the EAC in furtherance of the bloc’s crusade for a federation, feels whenever he hears Kenya’s deputy chief executive officer booming and boasting from his ethnic enclaves of Mt Kenya.

Gachagua has tried to paint his Kikuyu community as special and, therefore, more deserving of preferential treatment than the rest. That is not true. And very disturbing.

When Kenyans voted the Kenya Kwanza alliance into power, they pegged their decisions on the manifesto presidential candidate Ruto and his team had marketed to them. Ethnic superiority and regional supremacy were not anywhere in that manifesto.

Which is why Gachagua’s darts and antics are both confounding and disappointing. He has abdicated his constitutional role and is now rivalling with governors, senators, woman reps, members of the National Assembly and County Assemblies in the Mt Kenya region for space and relevance.

— The writer is the Revise Editor, the People Daily; [email protected]

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