Mathira Constituency MP Hon Rigathi Gachagua
In the opinion of many Mathira Constituents we spoke to, their MP Hon Rigathi Gachagua, is an hard working politician who is loved and popular among his people for his practical approach to issues and his ability to balance astute politics and service delivery.
A Mathira Constituency Opinion Poll conducted between 20th July and 25th July 2020 by Mizani Africa in all 6 wards, Hon Rigathi Gachagua emerged with the highest Performance rating as an MP in the entire Nyeri County of 71%. This is a remarkable improvement as Hon Rigathi Gachugua won by 64.6% in August 2017.
At the same time, Hon Rigathi Gachugua’s Performance Rating in 5 out of 6 Wards in Mathira was above 60%. In the three top Wards wards, Hon Rigathi Gachagua achieved exemplary performance rating of 87.4% (Konyu), 85.2% (Ruguru) and 76.8% (Kirimukunyu).
In comparison, the opponents of Hon. Rigathi Gachagua do not stand a chance against him if elections were to be held today. While 70.6% of Mathira residents answered in the affirmative that they would vote Hon Rigathi, only a mere 20.8% would vote Hon Peter Weru, 4.8% Hon Phylis Maranga and paltry 3.9% stand to vote Hon Daniel Kiige.
This is not surprising since during the Jubilee Primaries in April 2017 Hon Rigathi Gachugua won the nomination by 29,215 votes as the former MP Hon Peter Weru managed paltry 805 consolation votes. Weru’s efforts to recapture his seat have clearly not helped much so far as Hon Rigathi remains far ahead.
In the General election in 2017, Hon Gachagua garnered 52,757 votes with his closest challenger 73-year old Phyllis Wambura Maranga winning 28,893 votes. The High Court concluded that the Mathira parliamentary election “was free, fair and transparent.”
The latest Mathira opinion is a shocker on Phyllis Maranga whose chances to ever wrestle the Mathira MP seat from Hon Rigathi appear to dwindle as 2022 approaches. Although Ms. Maranga garnered 25,737 votes in Jubilee primaries, if elections were held today, she would only win 4,094 votes out of the 89,295 registered Mathira Voters.
On the other hand, if elections were held today, Hon Rigathi Gachugua would garner 63,042 votes with the nearest opponent trailing him by more than 40,000 votes. In fact, 67.6% of Mathira Residents said they would happily vote Hon Rigathi Gachugua the next Nyeri County Governor as they are impressed by his performance as their MP.
Hon Rigathi Gachugua rating also leads compared to other elected leaders in Nyeri County. For example, the approval ratings of Governor Kahiga in Mathira is 41.5%, Deputy Governor Caroline Karugu is 24.5%, Speaker John Kagucia is 53.8% and Senator Ephraim Maina is 38.1% and Women Rep. Rahab Mukami is 41.3%.
In addition, the first time Mathira MP leads among all the Nyeri Constituency MPs who were featured in the July Poll. For instance, Othaya MP Hon Gichuki Mugambi has a dismal approval performance rating of 29.9% while Tetu MP Hon Gichuhi Mwangi has approval rating of 28.2% against Hon Rigathi Gachugua’s 71% rating.
We sought to find out why Hon Rigathi Gachugua is excelling where his colleagues appear to be faltering. Political Analysts in Nyeri County attributed Hon Gachagua’s performance rating to his “legendary capacity to get things efficiently done” which owes to his training and experience as a Public Administrator.
The 53-year old Hon Rigathi, a one time personal assistant of President Uhuru Kenyatta, graduated from University of Nairobi in 1988 with a degree in Political Science and worked as Public administrator from 1989 to 1999 in the Office of President rising through the ranks to the position of District Officer 1.
In Parliament, Hon Rigathi Gachugua has been very vocal in support of key Bills and motions that are relevant to the livelihoods of Mathira Residents including the Tea Bill 2018 and Kenya Roads (Amendments) Bill. The legislator has also been vehement in opposing the proliferation of Chinese Traders in Nyamakima in Nairobi.
So far, MP Rigathi has initiated a number of key development projects in Mathira Constituency. For instance, in July Hon Rigathi was on the ground to witness the completion of the construction of John’s Bridge across River Sagana connecting the people of Mathira and Mukurwe-ini at Gatina in Konyu Ward.
The bridge is part of the 35 km Hohwe Dam- Thaithi- Kiangoma- Ngurumo- Gatiki- Gathugu- Gaturiri- Mungetho- Kiamabara- Kieni- Kirigu Junction- Ndimaini- Gatina- John’s Bridge- Gathagara (Mukurwe-ini) proposed tarmac road at a cost of Ksh 1.3 Billion which has been lobbied for Hon Rigathi.
In combating Covid-19 Pandemic, Hon Rigathi has mobilized the Mathira NG-CDF emergency kitty to procure industrial sewing machines and accessories to manufacture free masks for the poor. His CDF office has engaged Qualified Tailors to work closely with Mathira Technical and Vocational College which is the vocal point of the project.
So impressed are Mathira Residents with Hon. Rigathi’s performance they rate him even better than the best performing MCAs in the area who confess to have benefited from his leadership. The leading MCAs in Mathira are Hon Erastus Karanja Muriuki of Ruguru Ward rated at 65.2% while Hon Pauline Wanjiru Maina of Magutu rated 58%.
Most Mathira Residents are not moved by controversies that Hon Rigathi Gachagua has been drawn to due to his unwavering support for Deputy President William Ruto. Many noted that Rigathi has been a businessman since 2000 and even in 2017 when they elected him in 2017 and wondered if winning tenders worth 5 Billion was a crime.
There is little doubt Hon Rigathi Gachagua is the envy of many leaders in Nyeri County and the larger Mt. Kenya as he appears poised for reelection given the high approval rating as he clocks 3 years in office. Indeed, it reasonable to say that Hon Rigathi Gachugua’s is as good as assured to be re-elected as Mathira MP in 2022.