Uhuru's PA Who Turned Into His Biggest Critic - Rigathi Gachagua's Rise

  • President Uhuru Kenyatta during a virtual meeting of the African Union Bureau on August 20, 2020.
    President Uhuru Kenyatta during a virtual meeting of the African Union Bureau on August 20, 2020.
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  • Of all known personal assistants to President Uhuru Kenyatta, none has left the Head of State scratching his head  as did Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua. 

    President Kenyatta's other known PAs have been Njee Muturi, who is now State House Deputy Chief of Staff and Jomo Gecaga who still serves by his side to this day. 

    Rigathi's profile according to the National Assembly's record, has the makings of someone who has served in the government for most of his life. 

    Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua
    Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua
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    His political science education from the University of Nairobi coupled with paramilitary training at the Administration Police Institute prepared him for a career in the government.

    His first taste of power dates back to 1989 when he was appointed the Assistant Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs & National Heritage.

    He left the ministry in 1990 after he was recruited as a Cadet District Office, and was transferred to the office of the Head of Civil Service where he worked as a Personal Assistant.

    In 1995, he was named the district officer in charge of Kakamega before moving to Ngarua within Laikipia in 1997.

    Having spent 10 years in public service, he ventured into business, registering his firm Ridor Group of Companies.

    In 2001, President Kenyatta, who was then the Minister for Local Government, tapped into Rigathi's 10-year experience and employed him as a personal assistant.

    The two enjoyed a professional and cordial relationship until 2006 when Rigathi moved to work with his elder brother the late Nderitu Gachagua who was the Mathira MP and later became the first Nyeri Governor in 2013. 

    In a past public rally, Rigathi narrated how Uhuru had kicked him out of office when he asked his boss to intervene so that one of Uhuru's campaigners would receive payment for services rendered to the government.

    "When he was a minister at Jogoo House, there was one campaigner who kept asking for money, and he (the campaigner) requested me to ask Uhuru to make some calls so he could be paid for a job he had done for the government".

    "He told me that once he was paid, he would be able to campaign without coming to Uhuru for money, so I thought that was a good idea. When I proposed it to my boss, he chased me out of his office like an offensive dog," Gachagua narrated.

    Rigathi resurfaced after his brother's death to take up the political leadership of the family, winning the Mathira MP seat on Jubilee Party ticket in 2017.

    The relationship between him and President Kenyatta has since turned sour following his dalliance with Deputy President William Ruto's camp. 

    In May, a burial attended by Rigathi was raided by police officers who stated that the mourners had violated Covid-19 rules.

    Gachagua claimed that he was a target of the government's witchhunt due to his loyalty to Deputy President William Ruto.

    On numerous occasions, he has also criticised President Kenyatta's relationship with ODM leader Raila Odinga.

    Deputy President William Ruto with Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua during a past event
    Deputy President William Ruto with Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua during a past event