Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua delivered a hearty tribute to his late mother Mama Martha Kirigo Gachagua whose burial ceremony was held on Tuesday, January 7, in Nyeri County.
The ceremony saw the MP receive heartfelt condolence messages from his peers in politics, the deputy president and head of state President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Rigathi is from a family of politics as he is the brother to the late Nderitu Gachagua, the former Nyeri Governor who died from pancreatic cancer on February 24, 2019, while receiving treatment in India.
Mama Martha Kirigo who was a farmer and Nyeri's queenpin was described by Rigathi as tough, determined, witty, loyal and a peacemaker.
''I remember a time I was admitted to a school which my mother did not think much of. I am not going to mention the school because I don't want to spoil the CV but it was a day school, and she said 'my son cannot go there, he is not likely to be anything', so she went to the then Provincial Education Commissioner in Nyeri, sat on the floor and demanded that her son go to Alliance High School.''
The story left the mourners tickled, as he continued to inform them that his mother was told there was no vacancy in the boys' school but there was a vacancy in the girls' school. Her response to the information sent mourners in fits of laughter, as Rigathi recounted what she said.
''It is okay, the boy is only 11 years old, he is harmless!''
Her determination to see her son attend a good school, and have a bright future was something Rigathi said he would never forget. What made the story more emotional was that Rigathi revealed that his wife just happened to be coincidentally a former student of the Alliance Girls High School.
However, he observed that Mama Martha did not put any pressure on his choice of wife and invited him to select the wife of his choice, though she would be happy to 'straighten' her out.
''Choose whatever you want, leta yeyote mwenye unataka tutanyorosha yeye, tutaweka laini.''
The Mathira MP also highlighted how much his mother and his father Nahashon Gachagua, revered loyalty, in a moment the family was split between two brothers and two political dynasties, his mother exercised wisdom to keep her household together.
Rigathi describes the incident as a political tsunami in the Gachagua household. His late brother decided to contest for a seat in Nyeri on a NARC ticket, which was Mwai Kibaki's party, the most popular party at the time in the area.
Rigathi, on the other hand, was a personal friend and assistant to Kibaki's opponent, President Uhuru Kenyatta who was in KANU, a situation that put both brothers, loyalty to the test.
Things got heated in the family as the citizens at the time and political leaders assumed that both brothers on opposing sides must have been moles of either competitor, a rumour that pit them against each other.
He recounts how the dilemma ensued when it was a few days to the election. The MP claimed his mother emphasised that "In this family, we do not betray friends.''
So to solve the dispute, the mother advised them all to go to the ballot and vote for the respective teams they belonged to, there was no need for conflict of interest.
A memory the MP indicated formed the epitome of his and his late brother's journey in politics and a great relationship with the Kenyatta family.
Rigathi and his family had announced the death of his mother on December 23, 2019.
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