Mt Kenya political temperatures cool as Gachagua visits Nyoro’s Murang’a backyard

After nearly 20 months of cold war between Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua and Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro over control of politics in the Mt Kenya region, the two appear to have buried the hatchet.

For the first time since the Kenya Kwanza Alliance came to power, the two shared a podium on Saturday in the absence of President William Ruto.
In all previous public appearances by the deputy president, Mr Nyoro did not turn up unless the president was present.

Mr Nyoro’s first apparent assault on Gachagua’s crown was on 15 February 2023, when his allies had attempted to angle him as the next big thing in Mt Kenya politics during an education function in Kiharu.

Gachagua, at a burial ceremony in Gatanga constituency on February 23, downplayed the affront and dismissed news reports about it as cheap propaganda.

If Saturday’s meeting is anything to go by, the temperature in the mountain seems to be cooling after the two juggernauts met during a fundraiser for nominated MP Sabina Chege’s foundation to educate needy children in Kigumo which sits in Nyoro’s Murang’a home turf.

Mr Gachagua said the public display of unity was a warning shot to those who think they can divide the vote-rich mountain.

“We are solidly together and pipe dreams of disunity here in the mountain are defeated. We are moving towards total unity, a forte for present and future interests,” he said.

Murang’a Senator Joe Nyutu had earlier teamed up with Gatanga MP Edward Muriu to demand that the president drop Gachagua as his running mate in the 2027 elections.

The two had also demanded that the president publicly declare Mr Nyoro as his preferred heir in 2032.

But on Saturday, at the event boycotted by Mr Nyutu, Mr Gachagua and Mr Nyoro shared a podium attended by more than 100 elected leaders from across the country and witnessed by the majority leaders of the National Assembly and Senate, Kimani Ichung’wa and Aron Cheruiyot respectively.

Mr Nyoro said: “There is no confusion that President Ruto is our team leader while Mr Gachagua is the deputy captain and the rest of the calculations are in the hands of God.

Mr Gachagua added that the event was a deliberate showcase of what awaits those who harbor impractical ambitions of the President drifting from the warmth of the mountains and the region’s leaders squabbling.

Mr Nyoro said the purpose of the gathering was to project the mountain as a home of national mindset, tolerance and where democratic disputes do not mean political enmity.

It now remains to be seen whether these two leaders – who are also competing for Mau Mau fame – will keep the peace in an environment where the ground may be responsible for pressuring Nyoro to aspire to political greatness.

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