I trust Gachagua to run the country ‘if something happens’ – Ruto

Written by on 13 June 2022

Deputy President William Ruto now says that Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua, who is also his running mate in the August polls, is capable of running the government as the President of Kenya.

Speaking to a local TV station, Ruto said that he trusts Gachagua to take over from him in case they win and in the event that he (Ruto) cannot continue leading the country for whatever reason.

“I trust Rigathi Gachagua to carry the mantle. That gentleman is an accomplished public servant. He is a self-made person. What I like most about him is his passion for people issues. The challenge we have in Kenya is so much about leaders who are passionate about the ordinary people and Rigathi Gachagua is one of those Kenyans,” Ruto said.

I will jail Gachagua if he's found culpable - Ruto
Deputy President William Ruto with his running mate Rigathi Gachagua at a past campaign rally. PHOTO/Courtesy.

According to article 146 of the Kenyan Constitution, a vacancy in the office of the President only arises under several circumstances which include death of the sitting President, resignation, impeachment or when he/she is incapacitated.

Vacancy in the office of the President

In case a vacancy arises as envisioned by the Constitution, the Deputy President is mandated to take over as the new President for the remaining term.

“When a vacancy occurs in the office of President, the Deputy President shall assume office as President for the remainder of the term of the President; or if the office of Deputy President is vacant, or the Deputy President is unable to assume the office of President, the Speaker of the National Assembly shall act as President and an election to the office of President shall be held within sixty days after the vacancy arose in the office of President,” article 146 states.

The law states that if the Deputy President assumes office as President under the aforementioned circumstances shall be deemed to have served a full term as President if, at the date on which the person assumed office, more than two and a half years remain before the date of the next regularly scheduled election. The person, otherwise, will not have served a term of office as President.

Unknown to many, Gachagua studied Political Science at the Marine Corps University and a Bachelor of Arts Degree and Literature from the University of Nairobi.

Kenya Kwanza running mate Rigathi Gachagua. PHOTO/Courtesy
Kenya Kwanza running mate Rigathi Gachagua. PHOTO/Courtesy

He is a former District Officer in Ngarua division in Laikipia and Kakamega having served during the Moi era before he left to work for his brother, the late Nderitu Gachagua, who was a governor for Nyeri County.

Personal assistant

Gachagua served as the Personal Assistant for President Uhuru Kenyatta between 2001 and 2006 when the latter was the Minister for Local Governments.

The first-time legislator has been on the radar of investigative agencies over allegations that his web of companies received tenders worth Ksh12 billion between 2013 and 2017. 

As of 2021, detectives were probing five counties, government parastatals, and his own National Government Constituency Development Fund, where he is suspected of fraudulently winning tenders using 22 companies.

On July 26, 2022, Gachagua was charged with six counts of corruption and released on a cash bail of ksh12 million or a bond of Ksh25 million.

Gachagua ‘floored’ the likes of Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru, Kandara MP Alice Wahome, Tharaka Nithi Senator Kithure Kindiki and National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi, who were alsolooking to be Ruto’s running mate.

Gachagua’s education

Gachagua went through Kabiruini Primary School for his primary education before proceeding to Kianyaga High School for his secondary school education.

He studied Political Science at the Marine Corps University and a Bachelor of Arts Degree and Literature from the University of Nairobi.

In case Ruto wins the August polls, Gachagua will be the second Deputy President for Kenya under the 2010 Constitution.

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