Where is DP Rigathi Gachagua?

Questions remain about the whereabouts of Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua, who has missed 11 state functions in the past week.

Gachagua’s office has given no details of his whereabouts and even his personal mobile phone has been switched off for some time.

Gachagua’s conspicuous absence was also felt when his boss, President William Ruto, received his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni on a state visit, uncharacteristic of the deputy who is known to be at the head of state’s side for all important functions.

While his last public function was on Monday during a roadside engagement at Kagumo market in Kirinyaga County, he had started last Friday by missing the national tree planting exercise that saw all cabinet secretaries and the President planting trees in Murang’a alongside Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro.

The DP was originally scheduled to plant trees in Bomet County, but cancelled at the last minute, long after an advance team from his office was already on the ground.

Gachagua was also absent from a meeting at State House on Tuesday when President Ruto met with KTDA chairpersons and directors where they agreed to operationalise the Tea Tribunal to handle disputes between stakeholders.

Reforms in the tea, milk and coffee sectors are the DP’s pet projects, having been handed the responsibility by his boss.

In the DP’s absence, the President quietly assigned the matter to his confidant, Chief of Staff and Head of the Public Service, Felix Koskei.

Over the weekend, the DP sparked a fierce debate over the “one man, one vote, one shilling” principle as he pushed for more resources for the populous mountain.

He made the remarks during the consecration of Bishop John Kimani Nthiga at the ACK Cathedral of St Peter’s Mbeere in Siakago, Embu County, before addressing Kenyans outside the church and repeating the debate.

According to sources close to developments, the DP is believed to be in his village in the Mathira constituency but has been unreachable to those who have tried to contact him.

A UDA senator we spoke to phoned the DP and even contacted some of his close associates but they were also unavailable.

“It is unusual for the DP to be unreachable. His phone is switched off,” the second-term senator confirmed.

Read more: Where is Gachagua? Questions as DP misses key State events


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