From his college days to his rise in political and economic status, Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua is a man who would “fix” you to the government of the day for his personal gain, former ODM director of political affairs and strategy Wafula Buke alleges.
In a Facebook post, Buke says that he was a victim of Gachagua’s theatrics back in college during the late President Daniel Moi’s era.
According to Buke, Gachagua was the only student who boasted of speaking directly to President Moi, and led a flashy lifestyle admired by a number of students who followed him for handouts.
“Gachagua was one of the most expensively dressed students in my days in UON. He was feared too. When he approached, you lowered your voice for security. Truly, he was the only self-confessed student I knew who talked to Moi directly and bragged about it. He had his following of handout seekers just like now,” writes Buke.
Buke joined the University of Nairobi in 1985 to pursue a degree course in Political Science and Philosophy. In his first year, he organised a successful demonstration in solidarity with Libyans following deadly airstrikes by the United States in retaliation for the 1986 West Berlin discotheque bombing.
This would invite trouble from the Moi government after Gachagua misinformed Statehouse that he was a project of Libya.
A detective named Solomon Ochola was sent from Nyati House to investigate the claims, an investigation that lasted for over two years.
“One day, Solomon Ochola, my “ardent supporter” who often carried me shoulder high after rallies was cornered by comrade Bildad Kisero . He told me (hall 13 room 101) that Ochola was never a student but was a police officer. He wanted me to disconnect from him. He had been with us for two years as a student and a member of the university choir,” says Buke.
“Word went round about his status as an informer. He approached me alone. “Buke I am not a student. I am an inspector of police. I was sent here by Mr Opil from Nyati house who is in charge of student politics and mwakenya. After the Pro-libya demo you organized, I was sent here to confirm your Libyan connection. I learned that you actually had no connection with Libya.””
The police officer, Mr Ochola, would later identify police officers in campus who worked undercover as cooks, sweepers and casual labourers.
The highest-ranked among them was, according to Buke, Gachagua, who was a Sergeant working as a cook.
Due to his “loyalty” to President Moi’s government, Gachagua would later become a District Officer in Kiambaa.
He also served as President Uhuru Kenyatta’s personal assistant during his time as Kanu chairman, particularly during the period of his failed presidential bid 2002.
In the wake of the fallout between President Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto, Gachagua chose to support the latter.
“Gachagua’s partnership with William Ruto can be said to be historically ordained. Theirs is amazing consistency in seeking for self,” writes Buke.