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Deputy President (DP) Rigathi Gachagua has had a brief but eventful career in elective politics.

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HE RIGATHI GACHAGUA, EGH.

DEPUTY PRESIDENT, THE REPUBLIC OF KENYA

Deputy President (DP) Rigathi Gachagua has had a brief but eventful career in elective politics. After clinching the parliamentary seat for Mathira Constituency in the 2017 General Elections, he declared his unequivocal support for President William Ruto’s presidential bid in the subsequent 2022 polls and joined his top campaign team.

On the campaign trail, the then first-time Member of Parliament (MP) emerged as one of the most vocal and ardent supporters of President Ruto, leading efforts to sell his candidacy in the vote-rich Mt Kenya region. His vision, tenacity, resources and sheer hard work would soon catapult him to the highly contested running mate position.

When one talks of the modern-day giraffe who sees from far, it is none other than Rigathi Gachagua. (This description was earlier used to depict the late President Daniel arap Moi). Due to his inherent political astuteness, grassroots organisational skills, single-purpose messaging, and gift of the garb, Riggy G, as he is now popularly known, would stump the campaign trail in the Mt Kenya area and its diaspora, selling the Ruto presidency. This loyalty endured throughout the campaign period despite facing personal humiliation, economic downturn and a media hell bent on depicting him as not worth dining at the top table. The top table however turned after the deputy presidential debate, where Rigathi Gachagua proved his political mettle and grasp of economical and social issues facing the country. The rest is history.

As DP, Rigathi Gachagua has been emphatic and passionate on issues facing farmers. He spent his first year in office leading efforts to reform the tea, coffee and dairy sub-sectors. Through Executive Order 1 of 2023, the DP was tasked with turning around the fortunes of farmers, pitting him against numerous cartels that have for a long time been calling the shots in these sub-sectors.

For instance, in the tea sub-sector, he has called for the swift implementation of the Tea Act, 2020, which aims at correcting some of the unfair practices that have led to reduced earnings for tea farmers.

The DP is also categorical that the government will implement minimum guaranteed returns (MGR) for farmers to ensure they are insulated from commodity price fluctuations and get meaningful returns for their produce.

 The DP has also been instrumental in the successful rollout of the government’s fertiliser subsidy program, which is aimed at improving farmers’ margins while addressing the challenge of food security through improved agricultural yields. This has resulted in the price of fertiliser dropping to KES 2,500 per 50kg bag from highs of KES 7,500.

In the Executive, DP Gachagua’s functions include chairing Cabinet committees, overseeing the implementation of Cabinet decisions, coordinating intergovernmental relations between the National government and county governments as well as planning and supervising the implementation of development partners-funded programs and projects. He is also responsible for coordinating constitutional commissions and independent offices in matters that require the intervention of the national government such as budgets and policy frameworks.

At the core of DP Gachagua’s efforts to make a meaningful social impact in his home region of Mt Kenya is his strong commitment to addressing the pressing issues of alcoholism and drug abuse. He deeply laments how these problems have severely hindered the potential of the youth in the area.

DP Gachagua is married to Dorcas Wanjiku Rigathi, a retired banker who is now a pastor in Mathira. They got married in 1989 and have two adult sons. The couple is renowned for their active role in advancing evangelism and generously supporting various church initiatives across the nation. This commitment to their faith has been a cornerstone of DP Gachagua’s close relationship with President Ruto, whose wife, Mama Rachel, is also a highly regarded global evangelist. The two families revere God as their North Star, and this regularly came out on the 2022 election campaign trail. It is probable that this faith in God informs DP Gachagua’s honesty and integrity on sensitive issues, evident in his straightforward and candid public pronouncements.

Born in 1965 in Hiriga village of Nyeri County, the DP is the eighth-born child of Nahashon Gachagua Reriani and Martha Kirigo. His parents were Mau Mau freedom fighters in Mt Kenya forest where his father serviced guns for the Mau Mau, while his mother was a food and ammunition courier for the fighters. DP Gachagua is the younger brother of the late Nderitu Gachagua, the first governor of Nyeri County.

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Dr. Hanningtone Gaya

Dr. Hanningtone Gaya

Kenya’s Dr Hanningtone Gaya, holds a PhD in Commerce in Business Management from Nelson Mandela University (NMU), is viewed as an authority in country branding and is the founder chairman of the Brand Kenya Board.

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