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ROBA: DP Gachagua’s sentiments are a threat to Kenya’s national unity and cohesion

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By: Ali Roba

The Deputy President of Kenya Rigathi Gachagua—by virtue of positioning himself primarily as a leader for the Mount Kenya region and being in the forefront in championing the population-based policy of One-Man-One-Vote-One-Shilling revenue-sharing formula—presents significant risks to Kenya’s national unity and development.

This approach risks marginalizing less populated but equally needy regions, eroding the sense of national cohesion, and potentially increasing regionalism or tribalism.

Such a focus on population as the sole criterion for resource distribution neglects the diverse needs of Kenya’s various regions, leading to skewed development where more developed or populous regions could receive disproportionate resources, exacerbating existing inequalities.

The role of the Deputy President is to assist in national governance, not to serve as a regional representative. Prioritizing regional interests undermines this national duty, setting a precedent that could lead to further division.

The position taken by Rigathi Gachagwa has already kickstarted the debate about kenya having 8-9 deputy presidents to champion their regional interests alongside Rigathi Gachagwa. May be, that is what we should do but what will that mean for our country if that was to be considered?

The idea of having multiple deputy presidents or regional champions could create a competitive and fragmented governance structure, leading to inefficiencies, increased bureaucracy and slowing down of decision-making processes.

This approach could undermine comprehensive national development strategies, replacing them with piecemeal efforts that fail to address broader issues like infrastructure, healthcare, and education uniformly across the country.

Moreover, the perception of bias and inequality in resource distribution can lead to political instability, fuel discontent and deter investment; slowing economic growth. While advocating for one’s region can be part of a leader’s role at the local level but coming from an individual in such office creates role-confusion that requires mitigation by his boss, President Ruto, because the utterances of Rigathi Gachagua poses a significant risks to the institution of Presidency.

A balanced approach that ensures fair representation and resource allocation— while maintaining national unity and cohesive development—is crucial for the overall progress and stability of Kenya.

We all need to remind our deputy president that he is no longer the Member of Parliament for Mathira Constituency, but the Seconds in command of the Republic of Kenya. If he misses being an MP, he can resign and become one as well as the mouth piece of that particular constituency.

But as long as he remains the deputy president of Kenya, he must carry himself with the decorum befitting a person holding such an office and who carries the hopes of a country.


Ali Roba is the inaugural governor of Mandera County, serving two terms (2013-2022). He is currently serving as the Senator of the same county. He is also the party leader of United Democratic Movement (UDM)

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