Rigathi Gachagua: Life of Billionaire Politician Who Started Out as a D.O

  • Deputy President William Ruto (left) and Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua.
    Deputy President William Ruto (left) and Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua.
    File
  • UPDATE: Deputy President William Ruto on Sunday, May 15, named Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua, as his running mate in the August 9 General Election. 


    On April 8 this year, Rigathi Gachagua - the heir of the late Nahashon Gachagua Reriani and the late Martha Kirigo - made clear his ambitions to become the Mount Kenya kingpin.

    Gachagua, a brother to the first Nyeri County governor, the late Nderitu Gachagua, narrated how he had devoted his life to public service and bettering the lives of Kenyans, specifically the people of Mount Kenya.

    Serving his first term as Member of Parliament for Mathira Constituency, the MP was first thrust to leadership in 1989 when he was picked to serve as an Assistant Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs and National Heritage.

    Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua during a press conference in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County on January 9, 2022.
    Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua during a press conference in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County on January 9, 2022.
    The Standard

    In 1990, he would be moved to the Office of the President as a District Officer Cadet, before being appointed as the Personal Assistant to the Head of Public Service in 1991.

    Gachagua was appointed to a bigger role after being named the District Officer One in charge of Kakamega District before being moved to Ng’arua Division in Laikipia District in 1997.

    In 2002, the year that marked end of the 40-year KANU administration, Gachagua found himself working as President Uhuru Kenyatta’s personal assistant when Uhuru made his first shot at the presidency on a KANU ticket. 

    Gachagua worked as Uhuru's personal assistant for five years.

    When his late brother, Nyeri governor Nderitu Gachagua, was hospitalised, Rigathi Gachagua was accused of imposing his will on the county and acting as the temporary governor despite the county having a deputy.

    In 2017, Rigathi Gachagua was first elected as Mathira Member of Parliament and has quickly made a name for himself as a vocal and confrontational leader. 

    Despite being a strong supporter of Uhuru in the past, Gachagua was among the Legislators who decamped from Jubilee Party and formed the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) to show their support for DP Ruto.

    As conversation rages on how Ruto government will be organised, Gachagua's name has featured prominently in the discussions surrounding the running mate and the future Interior Cabinet Secretary. He also made a mark during the UDA party National Delegates Conference, after he sat in the front row next to DP Ruto’s wife Rachel Ruto.

    Gachagua and Ruto’s relationship dates back to 2002 when they were both KANU luminaries. The MP also said that he and the DP are neighbours in Karen.

    “I have known Ruto for two decades. He is my neighbour in Karen and our families are close. He is also a critical thinker,” Gachagua stated during an interview.

    His fast political rise has been attributed to his great oratory skills, his background coming from a strong political family, and his vast wealth.

    His net worth is estimated to be worth in the billions - and has had run-ins with law enforcement agencies over tenders worth Ksh12 billion that were awarded to his companies between 2013 and 2017. 

    Ruto is expected to make his much-speculated decision on who his running mate will be, ending months of speculations.

    Kenyans.co.ke has learnt that the competition is between Gachagua, Kirinyaga governor, Anne Mumbi Waiguru, and Tharaka Nithi Senator, Abraham Kithure Kindiki.

    Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua speaks with Deputy President William Ruto during a rally in Kirinyaga County on Saturday, January 29.
    Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua speaks with Deputy President William Ruto during a rally in Kirinyaga County on Saturday, January 29.
    Rigathi Gachagua

    Gachagua has been adamant that Ruto's running mate must come from the Mt Kenya region. He insists that the promise of getting the deputy president from the region is what made them decide to support Ruto and walk away from Uhuru.

    “Ruto’s running mate must come from the mountain. Before we were joined by the other people, we had our own arrangements that we had discussed and my position has been, whatever had been agreed upon earlier cannot change drastically to the disadvantage of the Mt Kenya region,” Gachagua stated during an interview.