Rigathi Gachagua serves as the deputy president of the republic of Kenya. Nicknamed Riggy G, he has come to be known for his unfiltered remarks on various issues. He never shies away from speaking his mind. While some have dubbed him insensitive, others feel he is a truthful person.
Here is his story as told by WoK.
Background and education
He was born in 1965 in Nyeri’s Hiriga Village as the eighth born in a family of nine. His parents, Gachagua Reriani and Martha Kirigo were Mau Mau freedom fighters.
Whereas his father serviced guns for the fighters, his mother ferried guns and food for them.
In the past, he said he came from a very humble background and at times it was hard to get food and school fees. During the campaigns, he said this lack is what makes him aware of what the hustlers go through.
“Mimi ni mtoto wa Mau Mau nilizaliwa pale kwa msitu, hatukuwa na chochote, nilikuwa naishi kwa nyumba ya nyasi, Nilikuwa nimeangaika, tulikuwa tumekosa chakula na school fees siku mingi Mungu ananiinua,” he was quoted by a section of the media in 2022.
After completing primary school in Kabiruini, he did both O and A levels at Kianyaga High School. He then joined the University of Nairobi and pursued a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Literature.
At the University, he became the chairman of the Association of Literature Students and the leader of the Nyeri District University Students Association (NDUSA).
He has undertaken paramilitary training at the Administration Police Institute and an Advanced Public Administration course at Kenya School of Government.
Shortly after completing university education, Mr. Gachagua was employed as an administrative officer.
In 1991, he was promoted to the office of the president and worked as a personal assistant to the permanent secretary, secretary to the cabinet and head of public service.
In 1993, he became a district officer at a time when this was a very powerful position. He served in Laikipia and Kakamega districts.
In 1999, he left public service and concentrated on his private businesses. Two years later, he was back in public service as a personal assistant to the then Minister for Local Government, Mr. Uhuru Kenyatta.
They worked together until 2006 when he left the position to concentrate on business. According to reports, he said doing business during the late Hon. Kibaki’s rule was good.
His elder brother Nderiti Gachagua served as the governor of Nyeri until his demise. During the time, there emerged reports that he planned to take up the mantle from him by vying for the gubernatorial position.
However, this would not be the case and instead in 2017, he vied for the Mathira constituency parliamentary seat and won.
Before the August 2022 elections, he was appointed the running mate of then deputy president William Ruto. The two clinched the seat and he was sworn in to office as the deputy president of Kenya in September 2022.
In 2021, he was charged with acquiring more than Ksh7.3 billion suspected to be proceeds from a crime. He denied the money laundering allegations and was reportedly ordered to deposit a cash bail of Ksh12 million or Ksh25 million bond to secure his release.
A few weeks to the 2022 elections, a judge said that he had failed to reveal the source of Sh200 million in his bank account. It was, therefore, stated that the money be ceded to the state. Most of the allegations facing him were later dropped.