Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has assured farmers that he will continue spearheading reforms in the coffee, tea, and milk subsectors despite resistance from cartels.
Speaking at Kagonye Secondary School grounds in Othaya Constituency, Nyeri County, during
the burial of Mary Wangeci Kambono, the mother of Bishop Daniel Kambono, who is the
Deputy General Secretary of Pentecostal Evangelist Fellowship of Africa (PEFA), DP Gachagua
said he will ensure the dignity of farmers is restored.
The Deputy President delivered a special message of condolence to the family from President
William Ruto, who described Mama Wangeci as a God-fearing woman and a pillar of the church
and the community. He wished the family peace, comfort, and strength as they come to terms
with the demise of their 73-year-old mother.
On his commitment to leading reforms in the agricultural sector, the Deputy President said he
will not be cowed by anyone.
“President William Ruto has tasked me to eliminate the middlemen and bridge the farmer to
the consumer for maximum benefits. Cartels are vicious. They are fighting back through
propaganda. We will deal with them once and for all.”
He added: “Let the cartels look for alternative sources of revenue. They cannot be enjoying the
maximum yields while the farmers and their families are languishing in poverty.”
DP Gachagua said the previous administration had not been willing to take on the middlemen
because of the conflict of interest. The Deputy President emphasized that President Ruto and
himself have no interest in the said subsectors and therefore, reforms are guaranteed.
The Deputy President noted that he has already had a meeting with KTDA directors and agreed
on a framework for implementing reforms. He added that engagements with all concerned
parties in other subsectors are ongoing and farmers should expect results soon.
“We will be fair to them; we will give them a notice and an ultimatum. It is very challenging, but
we will succeed. I ask you to support me on this journey,” he said.
In Executive Order No. 1 of 2023, President Ruto tasked Mr. Gachagua to oversee reforms in
various sub-sectors, key among them, coffee, tea, and milk.
He said before the August 2022 elections, he led elected members from central Kenya, in
discussions with President Ruto on their wish list. After the elections, he found it best to place
his deputy at the centre of the reforms.
On the road projects, the Deputy President promised to unlock construction of all stalled roads
across the country, particularly those abandoned over non-payment of the contractors. He said
the government is looking for about Sh900 billion to clear the pending payments.
“In the next few months, we will pay the contractors so they resume and complete the roads,”
the DP said
The Deputy President was responding to concerns raised by the area leaders during the burial.
The leaders said several projects were abandoned by the previous administration over
perceived support for President Ruto, against his main competitor, Raila Odinga.