Friends and foes joined hands on Monday to give an emotional send off of Nyeri First Governor Nderitu Gachagua.
Over 20,000 mourners led President Uhuru Kenyatta, Deputy President William Ruto, Former President Mwai Kibaki and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga joined hands and spoke in one voice for the first time publicly.
And they kept their political differences and spoke good of devolution with them lauding Gachagua as one the best Governors who championed devolution.
“Gachagua has for the first time made me to agree with my friend Raila Odinga about devolution,” Said President.
Uhuru expressed shock that it was unfortunate that some MCAs block Governor’s manifestos and fail to pass even budgets leaving wananchi suffering.
“Governor has his program and his manifesto but MCAs oppose, add and deduct it instead of playing oversight role. Your role is to ensure that public funds are not stolen,” he said.
He pleaded with Nyeri MCAs to ensure that this year’s supplementary budget is passed adding that they should unite with the second Nyeri governor Samuel Wamathai to ensure the projects that Gachagua had started are completed.
Wamathai had earlier told the crowd that the Nyeri County assembly has delayed in passing of the supplementary budget where crucial funds to develop the county are included.
Odinga had earlier told mourners that elected leaders have abused devolution by misusing funds travelling outside countries in the name of bench marking and bonding and holding ransom Governors.
Mourners of all walks of life arrived while on foot, others on bicycles, on motorbikes, on vehicles and on choppers to attend the burial ceremony which was held at Gachagua’s Hiriga home in Mathira, Nyeri County.
Mathira residents were for the first time treated with fancy as over 15 choppers landed in the area.
Odinga, Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho, deputy President William Ruto are among those who landed in the area before President Uhuru landed with his two Puma helicopters.
Others present were 35 governors, CS Mwangi Kiunjuri and Eugene Wamalwa several senators and over 10 MPs.
Nyeri MPs who would initially not share a platform with the governor were also present.
Also present was Kirinyaga governor Joseph Ndathi and his political rival who is also the area governor aspirant Ann Waiguru, Murang’a governor Mwangi Wa Iria and his rival Jamleck Kamau.
Speaker after speaker praised Gachagua as a governor who was courageous, devoted and go-getter who wanted to transform Nyeri county.
The gathering was moved by eight-year-old Ivy Wanja, a standard 3 pupil who cited a poem where she pointed out that many wanted Gachagua to die but he did not pass on until the time God wanted.
A song Munduiriri (my fighter) by Caroline Wanjiru which was the deceased’s favourite song would severally be prayed at the ceremony.
Sixty – four year –old governor left behind two windows Margaret Nyokabi and Margaret Karungaru and six children.
He was the first governor to die in office and Samuel Wamathai has since been sworn in as the second governor.
Over 10 MCAs led by Nyeri majority leader Duncan Gituanja made good their threat of boycotting the ceremony.
Gachagua died on February 24th at a London Hospital after pancreatic Cancer.