Unity push not about tribalism, DP tells critics

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has asked critics of his push for unity and fair distribution of national resources to stop confusing it with negative tribalism adding that he is also a peacemaker.

Mr Gachagua has also said his decision to work with leaders including those affiliated to the Opposition Azimio coalition in Mount Kenya region and retired President Uhuru Kenyatta is aimed to strengthen national unity.

He explained that his bid is to ensure there is equity in national development across the country and consolidate the Mt Kenya region behind President William Ruto ahead of the 2027 elections.

“When calling for our unity let people not equate our call for unity with tribalism. We are calling for unity because we have learnt from the past mistakes of division. When pushing for equity in the distribution of national resources is to ensure there is equal development in all parts of the country and no region is left behind,” he said on Saturday.

He spoke in Kagio and Kagumo towns in Kirinyaga County and Karatina Nyeri County while addressing wananchi after attending a Scholarship for Orphans and Empowerment Programme in Kutus, Kirinyaga County.

The economic empowerment program, dubbed ‘Tupange Kesho’ and started by Kirinyaga Woman Representative Njeri Maina focuses on education of the children from poor families and orphans.

The Deputy President praised the MP over the initiative terming her as trans-formative and visionary.

“We want to use education as an equalizer of all children. I won’t join the bandwagon that is disrespecting the Deputy President. The Deputy President is a good mentor and has been mentoring young leaders and supporting their initiatives. We appreciate the work the Deputy President is doing and we will continue supporting him as Kirinyaga people,” said Ms Maina.

During the development tour where the DP was accompanied by a host of leaders led by the Kirinyaga County Woman Representative Njeri Maina, Senators Kamau Murango and Samson Cherargei, Jubilee Party chairperson Sabina Chege, and a host of other leaders, Mr Gachagua also highlighted Government’s achievement to write off historical debts of Ksh 6.9 billion owed by coffee farmers.

He said the move is part of the measures being taken by the government to revive the coffee sub-sector and rebuild the rural economy through the Bottom-Up plan.

Mr. Gachagua added that the State investigative agencies will probe claims of financial mismanagement at Mutira Farmers Cooperative Society after coffee growers protested over poor payments.

Further, the Deputy President said he would not allow internal forces attempting to destabilize the Government through divisive politics to succeed in their mission.

“Some of those fighting us were not supporting the election of President William Ruto. They did not elect him and are now lecturing us on how to support the President. Don’t destabilize the Ruto government. Don’t forget the journey and struggles that have brought us where we are. Give us space to assist the President succeed,” said Mr Gachagua.

Without mentioning names, the Deputy President added that some of his critics in the Government made little contribution to President Ruto’s election and they did not deliver votes in their backyards to the Kenya Kwanza basket.

He, however, said he and President Ruto are focused on the Government’s development agenda.

“Myself and the President are focused. We are also loyal and supporting the president so that he can succeed. There is a scheme to destabilize the Government. Those who were oppressing us and found space in the Ruto administration are the ones attempting to destabilize the Government,” he said.

Still, on Mt Kenya unity, Mr. Gachagua said: “I know the danger of this region being in opposition if it divides its votes…some people who do not understand this region claim that unity is tribalism. It is not tribal but being intelligent. Our relevance in national political discourse is based on our unity. I won’t allow it to diminish. Let people not underestimate the intelligence of the people. We shall remain united”.

He also asked young leaders to disallow divisive politics and attempts to disrespect senior leaders. Mr Gachagua added that the people of Mt Kenya are nationalists and patriotic and that they will not accept divisive politics.

“As Mount Kenya people, we are patriotic nationalists, not tribalists. In the last election, there was a candidate from the Mount Kenya region and the retired President was also supporting the former Prime Minister but the residents elected William Ruto as a man. We are nationalists. Many people have doubts that we can elect and support someone from another region. We are not tribalists,” he added.

Leaders accompanying him praised the Deputy President saying he has performed in his mandates and duties assigned by President Ruto.

“We can see significant improvement in tea, coffee, and dairy sectors following interventions by the Government through reforms driven by the Deputy President.

We support him and the work he is doing in fighting illicit brews and drug abuse. On sharing of national revenue, the DP is being misunderstood. He is saying that people should get their rightful share of the national resource. People are misunderstanding the Deputy President,” Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei said.

Nominated MP Sabina Chege, who is also Chairperson of the Jubilee Party, said “The Deputy President is doing well in all his mandates and we thank him for supporting young people and the women leaders”.

“If you touch the hearts of women, they will support you, and where there is unity God commands blessings. Let us work together. I plead with you to forgive the leaders speaking ill about you and disrespecting you. Even those that supported and turned against you and are now humiliating you, please find it to forgive them,” MP Sabina Chege told the DP. Music artist Bahati was also present.

Manyatta MP Gitonga Mukunji, who is also the chairperson of the Kenya Young Parliamentarians Association, lauded the Deputy President for mentoring young leaders.

“I agree with the Deputy President on so many issues, especially on the fight against illicit brews and drug abuse. We urge him not to be distracted and have a razor focus. It is through God’s grace he occupies the office of the Deputy President. We must benefit from it.

We want Youth and Uwezo Funds increased to support vulnerable groups,” said Mr Mukunji.

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