Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua's remarks on Saturday, February 19 that the government was operating as a company of shareholders drew mixed reactions from Kenyans, including the political class.
According to Gachagua, the Kenya Kwanza government would reward its staunch supporters and those who toiled to put the current regime in office and give the least consideration to members of the opposition.
Gachagua who spoke in Kericho disclosed that it was laughable that some members of the opposition had started trooping to State House seeking government positions.
“This government is a company that has shares. There are owners who have the majority of shares, and those with just a few, while others do not have any. You invested in this government and you must reap. You sowed, tilled, put manure and irrigated, and now it is time to reap,” he remarked.
His statement irked legislators from the opposition and netizens alike who termed his submissions unfortunate.
Suna East Member of Parliament Junet Mohamed wondered how every Kenyan was to pay taxes to a government owned by a few individuals.
“If the Government of the Republic of Kenya has become a company with shareholders then how will all Kenyans pay taxes to a company belonging to two individuals?” he posed.
Narok Senator Ledama Olekina was equally not amused by Gachagua analogy.
“How on earth can he say the government is like a company with a few shareholders?” he wondered.
However, Kenya Kwanza elected leaders have taken to the defence of the Deputy President with Mbeere North lawmaker Geoffrey Ruku holding that Gachagua's statement was justified.
"What Gachagua is saying is that we have Kenyans who worked hard to put this government into place, and they are the ones who will get those positions. You cannot get people who don't believe in the bottom-up to positions of leadership," he submitted during a morning show on K24 TV.
Equally, the National Assembly Deputy Speaker Gladys Boss Shollei defended Gachagua affirming that he was only speaking on rewarding loyalty.
"He was not speaking on behalf of Kenya Kwanza. He was speaking to people who had campaigned for the coalition. His remarks have been taken out of context," she submitted.
Gachagua in his submissions added that even though the government would serve all Kenyans, it was prudent, fair and logical to reward its supporters with government appointments.
"Elections have significance. You cannot make noise talking ill of Ruto then after he wins you get in line to get benefits before those who were with him. Their time of reaping will come after those who sowed have finished reaping,” he opined.
Gachagua’s statement came on the backdrop of President William Ruto's overdrive to win members of the opposition who have since broken ranks with the Azimio Coalition.
Ruto is also keen on replacing former President Uhuru Kenyatta's appointees with his allies, across state agencies.