From being handpicked for MP seat to negotiating dowry for his marriage with Betty Maina and now enemies? Mathira residents worried over Gachagua, Wamumbi fallout

Tuesday, July 9th, 2024 18:38 | By
A collage of Mathira MP Eric Wamumbi and DP Rigathi Gachagua. PHOTO/ & @rigathi(X)
A collage of Mathira MP Eric Wamumbi and DP Rigathi Gachagua. PHOTO/ & @rigathi(X)

Mathira residents have been left with questions over what could have caused the fallout between Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua and their Member of Parliament, Eric Wamumbi.

The residents have expressed mixed reactions about the fallout, with some terming Wamumbi as being disrespectful and attributing his current success to the deputy president.

Before coming to the limelight, Wamumbi was serving as a member of the Nyeri County Assembly between 2017 and 2022, after which he won a UDA ticket to defend his Konyu ward seat.

However, the plans changed after Gachagua became President William Ruto's running mate in the 2022 general elections, and he was given a direct ticket to succeed him.

Gachagua went around the entire Mathira constituency, urging the residents to support his choice and terming him the best person to succeed him.

The duo's friendship continued even after the elections, and the Deputy President acted as Wamumbi's chief spokesperson, and he steered negotiations during his dowry ceremony with his wife, Betty Maina, who is Murang'a's Women Representative.

The seven members of the county assembly drawn from Mathira feel that Wamumbi and his wife have disrespected the DP and that the war on illicit brews in the constituency is not the reason for the fallout, but they claim the legislator is being used by some external forces to humiliate the deputy president.

"We want to unanimously disassociate and castigate the recent political and bad manners from the MP for attacking and demeaning the deputy president and operating like a modern-day Kamotho, the MP who is also being used by the external forces to fight the deputy president in a well-orchestrated plan where his wife is the leading character in that disrespect," Kirimukuyu ward MCA Anthony Ndagita says.

"We want to ask the MP to ask his wife to respect the deputy president, although we are not sure of his political control over the Murang'a woman representative," he adds.

They have called on the legislator to stop political gimmicks and dignify his constituents who elected him into office after he was picked by Gachagua to vie on the UDA ticket without any political competition as he was not subjected to the nomination process.

"As far as we are concerned, the MP is occupying  that position because of the good will of the deputy president and our support as the MCAs of Nyeri," Ndagita said.

They accused Wamumbi of portraying arrogance and pride when castigating the deputy president.

"We are surprised by his arrogance when castigating the DP, who even went out of his way to negotiate for his dowry for his wife. We beseech you to stop this unnecessary disrespect to the president, and even if you have a political assignment to deliver, do it with respect to all elected leaders,"Kariithi Wambui, a nominated MCA, said.

Mathira residents, on their part, have cautioned the MP against disrespecting the Deputy President, noting that it was he who introduced him to them.

"Our MP should know that the DP is his senior, and therefore he should give him the respect he deserves. What happened, and he has been telling us that he found a father figure in him? Josphat Nyaga, a resident of Mathira, paused.

The residents said the war between the two leaders is not orchestrated by the fight against illicit brews, but there is another force that is triggering it.

They are calling upon the two leaders to iron out their differences in the interest of the residents.

During one of the DP's visits to Nyeri, Wamumbi urged the DP to be the father he never had and not to allow anyone to come between them.

"Our DP, in you I found a father. My own father abandoned me at the age of three months, and I'm urging you to be my father. Do not let anyone come in between us," he said in Karatina.

In a twist of events, Wamumbi now says he worked towards clinching the Mathira seat, and it was the electorate that made him an MP and not the Deputy President.

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua visits grandmother who lost 11 family members to illicit brew.
Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua visits a grandmother who lost 11 family members to illicit brew. PHOTO/(@rigathi)/X

Fallout over illicit brew

The fallout between the DP and the MP was laid bare by the ongoing fight against the illicit brew spearheaded by the former.

On Sunday, July 7, 2024, Gachagua accused officials from the Interior Ministry of collaborating with Wamumbi to sabotage the fight against the brews by reopening bars.

In a daring move, Wamumbi ordered bar owners to reopen their businesses against the directive that had earlier been issued by Gachagua.

Wamumbi argued that bar operators in Mathira are not selling illicit brews and should, consequently, reopen their premises.

"Bar operators from Mathira will not undergo any further suffering for not doing their legitimate businesses, yet they have operation licenses. Why is it that in other constituencies businesses are going on as usual, but only in Mathira are there closing orders?" Wamumbi said then.

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