Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has revealed the details of his new foreign travel agreement with President William Ruto after scrutiny of the relationship between the duo intensified in recent weeks.
Speaking on Friday, during the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) women’s congress, Gachagua divulged that the two Kenya Kwanza leaders agreed not to simultaneously leave the country for foreign tours.
“You want me to be in charge (when Ruto is away). There was a time when we were abroad, and the people we left behind misbehaved. We have now agreed that when he has travelled on a foreign tour, I remain in the country, and when he returns, I leave. And there is no problem,” he stated to the delight and applause of the delegates.
He also argued that he shares similar ideologies with Ruto, remarks he has constantly made in previous public appearances since reports of his fallout with Ruto emerged.
President William Ruto (Centre) and Nairobi County Governor Johnson Sakaja (Second-right) during a meeting in New York on Wednesday, September 20, 2023.
“President William Ruto and I have been friends for over 20 years. Our friendship surpasses the presidency,” he argued. “Prophets of doom cannot create a wedge in this government,” he added.
In his defence against reports that he wasn’t on good terms with Ruto, Gachagua stated that he attended a National Security Council meeting with Ruto this morning. On Thursday, he graced a Cabinet meeting and proposed policies which Ruto ratified on Friday.
He would later represent Ruto at events in Nyahururu and Narok counties before the President leaves the country for China. According to Gachagua, Ruto will leave him in charge of the government before his return, as the Constitution dictates.
“Don’t worry, CS Aisha Jumwa (Gender CS who raised concerns on the stability of the government). The government under President William Ruto is very stable. And there can never be any division or conflict. That is a creation of people who are still living in denial.
“There are many people who gave President Ruto no chance. They are now envious that he is succeeding. He has become a darling of the international community. He is progressing in the economic transformation of this republic. So they want to imagine that there can be a problem. There will be none,” he assured, emphasising that he and the President are joined at the hip.
The DP insisted that UDA would not collapse like other parties which formed the government in previous regimes. He stated that congresses, such as the one held today, signified that UDA was growing and would still be a force to reckon with in the future.
Women, he added, were given top priority in the party, which would ensure that their children are protected from alcohol and drug abuse.
Meanwhile, Ruto, Gachagua, and Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi left the country for separate official duties in September 2023.
The President attended the 78th UN General Assembly from September 19, his deputy attended the G77 Summit in Columbia from September 14 to 16 while the Prime Cabinet Secretary was away on a three-day visit in the United Kingdom.
Ruto, later on, as part of austerity measures, cut down unnecessary expenditures such as foreign travel by more than Ksh71 billion.
As of October 2 2023, the government had suspended foreign travel in five categories for government officials.
The suspended categories include benchmarking and study visits, training and related capacity-building Initiatives, research, academic meetings, and Symposia.
A photo of Prime CS and Foreign Affairs CS Musalia Mudavadi being received in Rwanda on October 6, 2023.
Office of the Prime Cabinet Secretary