DP Gachagua extends olive branch to Mt Kenya political rivals
Written by Inka FM on 23 October 2023
Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua yesterday intensified his effort to unite Mt Kenya region by declaring his willingness to work with those who opposed his and President William Ruto’s candidacy in the last general election.
Speaking during the Mt Kenya Golf Tournament held at the Nyeri Golf Club, Gachagua said that the elections were now in the past, and he was ready to work with those who were on the opposing side for the sake of achieving political and economic unity of the region, which largely voted for President Ruto in the 2022 polls.
The then President Uhuru Kenyatta, who hails from the region, led the campaign for Azimio la Umoja candidate Raila Odinga, who finished second after Ruto.
“In the last general elections, this region was divided. In fact, we voted 87 per cent for President Ruto, and the rest 13 per cent, voted for our political rivals. However, I want to say that the polls are over, and I am ready to work with everyone. Let us rally behind our President for the economic prosperity of this region,” he said.
The Deputy President stressed that unity would be in the best interest of the region, and residents will greatly benefit from working together under the leadership of President William Ruto.
Gachagua’s extension of an olive branch to his political opponents comes at a time when discussions about unity in the region are prevalent. Many have called for him and retired President Uhuru Kenyatta to put aside their political differences to achieve political stability in the vote-rich region.
During the last elections, Gachagua, then a first time MP and the then President Uhuru had differing positions, with the former supporting Ruto and the later supporting Raila.
However, following the elections, some leaders who were initially aligned with the Raila camp have since changed course and expressed their backing for Gachagua.
At the event, which attracted over 174 golfers, mainly businesspeople and all Members of Parliament from the region, Gachagua also addressed the reasons behind the high cost of living and the region’s declining fortunes.
Cost of living
He attributed the rising cost of living to global factors, such as increasing oil prices due to conflicts in the Middle East and Ukraine, as well as substantial debts left by the previous administration. He, however, said the Ruto administration had given a commitment to honour all the country’s international obligations, including on debt repayment.
“I know many of you are disillusioned by the rising cost of living, especially fuel costs. This is due to global factors beyond our control. Secondly, we inherited significant debts that we are servicing. That is why we cannot afford subsidies. Instead, we are subsidising production, especially in agriculture, which is sustainable,” explained Gachagua.
He pointed out that by stabilising agriculture, the country can lower the cost of living. Gachagua also expressed confidence that this year alone, the region will achieve a production of over 40 million bags.
Regarding the delimitation of boundaries, the Deputy President assured the region’s residents that no protected constituency will be abolished.
“I know many of you are wondering what will happen to protected constituencies, many of which are in this region. However, I want to assure you that they will not be touched. I also urge you to contribute your views when the boundaries commission solicits input, so we can have more constituencies created in this region,” affirmed Gachagua.