Wamathai to be sworn in as new Nyeri governor

Deputy Governor Samuel Wamathai will be sworn in on Monday as Nyeri’s new county boss, heightening anxiety on the composition of a new Cabinet.

Mr Wamathai will take the oath of office at the county headquarters in a ceremony presided over by Resident Judge Jarius Ngaah.

At least five governors from the Mount Kenya region are expected at the function, among them Council of Governors chairman Peter Munya of Meru.

The seat fell vacant following the death of Nderitu Gachagua in a London hospital on Friday.

But a law sending the ministers home has caused jitters among the late governor’s appointees as they wait for his successor to effect changes.

Gachagua’s brother Rigathi Gachagua said the family will fully support the new county boss, noting that its political machinery was at his disposal.

“The incoming governor has been a blessing to the county because, were it not for him, when the governor had been indisposed the county would have ground to a halt,” said Mr Rigathi. “He deserves the support.”

He described Mr Wamathai, a former diplomat, as a pillar of strength for the late governor, noting that he had a duty to achieve the agenda that they set when they took office.


On burial arrangements, Mr Rigathi said plans to have Gachagua’s body flown to Kenya were under way. If all goes well and the paper work is successful, the body will arrive in the country on Thursday at 5am, he said.

Mr Rigathi revealed that when his brother’s health deteriorated while in hospital, the family had begun plans to fly him back to the country.

“We want to bring him but doctors at the airline were of the view that he was a little bit weak and felt that he might not make it,” said Mr Rigathi. “We were in the process of getting a private jet but that never came to be.”

The family said they had received support from Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed and Kenya’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom Lazarus Ombai Amayo in efforts to bring the body home.

Several governors will accompany the body from London.

The burial date is also yet to be set, pending consultations between the family and the Office of the President, but prayers will commence at All Saints Cathedral in Nairobi on Tuesday.

Being the first governor to die in office, it was not clear if Gachagua will be accorded a state burial, the family said.

Meanwhile, Mr Rigathi extended an olive branch to Gachagua’s critics, saying: “We have nothing against those who fought him and we forgive them.”

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