Rigathi Gachagua on corruption allegations: 'I am innocent until proven guilty'

Rigathi Gachagua on corruption allegations: 'I am innocent until proven guilty'

Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua and has downplayed concerns being raised over the corruption allegations facing him following his nomination as presidential running mate.

The legislator who was on Sunday unveiled as Deputy President William Ruto’s running mate in Kenya Kwanza Alliance ahead of the August General Election, maintained that he shall not bow to pressure because he has not been found guilty of graft.

Gachagua is facing a graft case with the Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) saying has said that he is at a loss to substantiate the source of Ksh.200 million in three of his bank accounts, which he claims to have acquired through a loan.

“Those are allegations and an allegation is not a conviction. The Kenyan constitution is very clear, that you can only be barred from political office when you have been convicted and you have exhausted the mechanisms offered by law for appeal,” Gachagua said on Citizen TV’s Sunday Live show

“I made my money during the reign of President Mwai Kibaki, like many Kenyans.”

He further dismissed the claims as politically-motivated, arguing that he is being persecuted for not supporting the March 2018 ‘Handshake’ between President Uhuru Kenyatta and then-opposition chief Raila Odinga.

“Our government decided along the way to use our criminal justice system to stifle dissent and force people to follow what the president wants. When I was intimidated to support the handshake and I refused, the criminal justice system was used against me and everybody knows,” Gachagua said.

He claimed that he was coerced to support the union, saying: “Between 2013 and 2017, Uhuru was my buddy...nobody raised a finger but when I said publicly, I did not believe in the handshake because it is a fraud, I was intimidated and called to support it and I refused.”

 “The case is politically motivated. It has never started because the State has not been able to provide any evidence, added Gachagua.

Citing former South African leader Nelson Mandela’s historic jail term, Gachagua went ahead to state that the case against him shall also not deter him from his hopes of becoming deputy president come August 9.

“Nelson Mandela was jailed for 27 years for terrorism in Robben Island for terrorism, he came from prison to be the greatest president South Africa has ever had,” he said.

“President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto had serious issues but the people of Kenya elected them and their cases were dropped.”

Dr. Ruto announced Gachagua as his running mate pick at his official residence in Karen, describing him as "an astute debater, a successful elected politician who is a principled, resilient and fearless fighter for the right cause."

MPs Ndindi Nyoro (Kiharu), Alice Wahome (Kandara), National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi, Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru, Tharaka Nithi Senator Kithure Kindiki were among the candidates considered for the position.


Rigathi Gachagua William Ruto Running mate

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