Nyeri Governor Kahiga’s new line-up upsets allies

Monday April 16 2018

Governor Mutahi Kahiga

Nyeri Governor Mutahi Kahiga addresses Nyeri High School students and their parents on April 4, 2018. PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By GRACE GITAU
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Nyeri Governor Mutahi Kahiga’s recent line-up of appointees has caused great disquiet among a section of leaders and members of the secretariat established by former Governor Wahome Gakuru.

Mwalimu Kahiga, as he is fondly referred to, was sworn in as the fourth governor after the tragic death of Dr Gakuru in an accident on the Nairobi-Nyeri highway.

Dr Gakuru died barely two months after taking oath of office.

Succeeding a Phd holder, who had earned praises for being visionary, is a tall order for many people. Mwalimu Kahiga has been working hard to meet the county’s high expectations.

PREFERENCE
On Friday, he appointed Othaya businessman Ndirangu Mwangi as his economic advisor, a position that had been promised to the late Dr Gakuru’s ally.

Mr Mwangi, who runs Choice Microfinance Bank, was also eyeing the deputy governor seat.

The appointment came barely a day after nominating Ms Caroline Wanjiru Karugu to the position of deputy governor.

The governor appears to be sending strong messages to powerful politicians who have been claiming a stake to his political success.

Several leaders, including Senator Ephraim Maina, had fronted their preferred candidates.

“Dr Gakuru brought Mr Kahiga to us and we accepted him. We were willing to work with him because he is a decent man.

"Even after Dr Gakuru’s death, we promised him unwavering support. But it appears he does not need us any more,” a member of the late governor’s secretariat said.

DEPUTY
Poll campaigners who thought they had a place at the high table are now taking a back seat.

Their preferred candidate for deputy governor was Dr Stephen Gachie, who assisted in drafting the manifesto that secured them a win in the August elections.

Members of the secretariat told Nation they approached Mr Kahiga and discussed how they would work together after the death of Dr Gakuru.

During this meeting, Dr Gachie was fronted to deputise Mr Kahiga and help fulfil the late governor’s vision for the county.

“We met him in his office and requested him to pick Dr Gachie. But we are shocked that he has banged the door on us. We are seeing new faces taking up jobs that Dr Gakuru had promised us,” a member said.