United Democratic Alliance (UDA’s) deputy president designate and Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua had a day to forget after his first solo campaign caravan failed to draw crowds and was met with resistance in nearly all the stops he made.
Initially planned to start at Githurai and stretch all the way to Othaya, via Murang’a, Kirinyaga, Mukurweini and Karatina, several stops were dropped after intelligence reports indicated there would be open hostility against Gachagua.
Instead Githurai, Ruiru, Juja and Thika stops that were in the initial plan were dropped hastily in the morning and instead the tour started around 11:00am at Kenol, Maragua, Murang’a County.
Again instead of following the Murang’a Town route, Rigathi stopped at Kenol where he addressed a handful of supporters before the convoy drove straight to Kibingoti in Ndia, Kirinyaga County avoiding all the other stopped planned for Murang’a County.
At Kibingoti a group youths were shouting Azimio and Babacare when he rose to speak and the entire session lasted about 10 minutes before the convoy drove to Karatina where he addressed another small gathering and was met with banners of Jubilee Party candidates.
He then drove to Mukurweini before proceeding to another lukewarm reception in Othaya before proceeding to Kieni after failing to stop in Tetu and Nyeri town constituencies as earlier planned.
The trip was Rigathi’s attempt to mount a campaign tour of Mt Kenya after being criticised that he can only visit the region with the help of his boss DP William Ruto – especially after his controversial appointment as Ruto’s running mate.
Majority of UDA supporters preferred Tharaka Nithi Senator Kithure Kindiki and voted for him overwhelmingly on three occasions before Ruto over-ruled them and appointed Rigathi.