How Rigathi made Uhuru, Kenyatta family an agenda for debate

Kenya Kwanza deputy presidential candidate Rigathi Gachagua last night took no prisoners during the presidential running mates debate, launching a scathing attack on the first family and President Uhuru Kenyatta specifically, for instigating what he termed as the “State capture.”

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Appearing during the second tier of the debates with his Azimio counterpart Martha Karua, Mr Gachagua took on President Kenyatta who is also the Azimio coalition party council chairman, accusing him of propagating corruption and being the master planner of the Raila Odinga-Martha Karua “project.”

“There is State capture by corruption cartels…organized criminal gangs who plunder our resources daily,” Mr Gachagua said.

Brandishing what he termed as a gazette notice during the interview, the Mathira MP sensationally accused President Kenyatta of using his powers to exempt the “first family of paying Sh350 million in a merger of two banks.”

“Through a gazette notice and by a single signature, two companies owned by the first family were exempted from paying Sh350 million. Money that can put up 35 level three hospitals in Kenya. That is chronic corruption.

“That’s conflict of interest and State capture. The real corruption that we need to deal with is State capture,” Mr Gachagua said.

But Ms Karua fought back the claims, accusing Mr Gachagua of failing to understand the real meaning of State capture.

“I want to help Mr Gachagua. State capture is the repurposing of the State to serve individuals rather than the public good. Corruption cartels in this country, whoever they are have strangled the country. Kenya can’t breathe. Our health services, the money is taken, the money for agriculture, for fertilizer subsidies, for building dams such as Kimwarer, Arror.

“Galana Kulalu, which was supposed to help Kenya feed itself, that is what State capture is all about. That every penny intended for the public, a majority of it is ending up in peoples’ pockets. This is not about families or individuals. Its cartels are they are organised gangs of criminals because what they are doing is committing crime,” said Ms Karua.

He accused Ms Karua of walking out on former president Mwai Kibaki’s administration when he needed her most.

But Ms Karua said her resignation from Mr Kibaki’s government was as a matter of principle but that did not mean she disparaged the Head of State.

She instead accused Mr Gachagua’s boss – Dr Ruto of failing to do the honourable thing by resigning if he feels President Kenyatta’s government is not doing the right thing.

But Mr Gachagua noted that Dr Ruto had refused to fall to President Kenyatta’s desire to quit government and he was not in a position to sack him as the position is elective and not appointive as in the past.

Mr Gachagua pointed out that the DP post should not be appointive but should remain elective hence constitutionally protected as currently is.

They were speaking during the debate held at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA) on Tuesday night.

Mr Gachagua alleged that if the 2010 constitution did not protect the DP, the current fallout between President Kenyatta and his Dr Ruto would have been much messier since the DP would already have been fired.

He alleged that President Kenyatta would have sacked the DP and replaced him with Kanu chairman Mr Gideon Moi.

“That was the plan; to provoke him, intimidate him, humiliate him, persecute him, his friends and allies so that he could quit the government and allow Uhuru Kenyatta to appoint somebody from a family that they share the same issues or the same values.”

Mr Gachagua pointed out that the differences between President Kenyatta and DP Ruto are not about ideology but about “inferiority complex.”

“If your DP is strong, one should accommodate him and use their strength to serve the people of Kenya. DP Ruto and I are strong-willed leaders who respect each other, none of us suffers from inferiority complex.

“We don’t have time to disagree, we are inheriting a dilapidated country; a country that it’s on its knees economically.”

He also faulted the Head of State of having no plans to retire.

“He is crafting his succession through Raila Odinga… he will continue to govern this country outside his Constitutional mandate.”

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