Geofrey Rigathi Gachagua is a politician and businessman, who is currently the Deputy President of Kenya. Before occupying the second most influential position in Kenya’s political system, Gachagua served as the Member of Parliament for Mathira Constituency in Nyeri County. He was among several Mount Kenya leaders who parted with former President Uhuru Kenyatta following a significant rift with his Deputy President William Ruto. Rigathi was chosen as Ruto’s running mate in 2022 general elections ahead of another Mount Kenya ally Prof. Githure Kindiki, who was also a strong supporter of William Ruto.
Rigathi Gachagua was born in 1965 in Hiriga village, Nyeri County, as the eight child of Nahashon Gachagua and Martha Kirigo. He is the younger brother of former Nyeri Governor, the late Nderitu Gachagua. Rigathi Gachagua’s parents were Mau Mau fighters who helped in the armed struggle for independence in the 1950s. The role of Nahashon Gachagua, Rigathi Gachagua’s father, was to make weapons for the freedom fighters in Mount Kenya Forest. Until today, Rigathi Gachagua proudly speaks about himself as a son of Mau Mau.
In 2022, Rigathi Gachagua stated that he values family as the basic unit of society and of the nation. This statement illustrates his upbringing in a Christian family with strong values. He affirms that his parents held strong values that helped them grow as a tight-lit family unit, with strong focus on farming and business.
Rigathi’s parents valued education. They took all their children to school, beginning with the most basic level of education at the time. Rigathi Gachagua attended Kabiruini Primary School between 1971 and 1977 before joining Kianyaga High School for his O-levels and A-levels education. Later, he joined the University of Nairobi where he graduated with a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Political Science and Literature in 1988. Gachagya was the president of Nyeri District University Students Association while studying at the University of Nairobi. He was also the chairman of the Association of Literature Students. These roles prepared him adequately for what would be a prosperous career in politics and leadership.
Rigathi Gachagua’s career began immediately after graduating from the University of Nairobi, when he was employed at the Ministry of Home Affairs in late 1980s. In 1990, Riggy G. joined the Administrative Police Institute, giving him an avenue to serve in President Moi’s Office of the President as a District Officer Cadet between 1991 and 1992. He later served as a District Officer (DO) in Kakamega, Laikipia, and Ng’arua districts. Between 1999 and 2000, Rigathi Gachagua attended the Kenya School of Government where he graduated with an advanced Diploma in Public Administration. He later served as the Personal Assistant of Uhuru Kenyatta between 2001 and 2006, at a time when Uhuru vied for President and failed.
The ten-year period between 2007 and 2017 allowed Gachagua to work behind the scenes as a business man. He has been a successful trader who registered businesses and won tenders due to his longstanding relationship with the government.
In 2017, Rigathi Gachagua became the Member of Parliament for Mathira Constituency under a Jubilee Party ticket. His time as a legislator was characterized by championing issues that centered primarily on the needs of Mount Kenya residents. Particularly, Gachagua can be remembered for taking on Keriako Tobiko, the then Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Forestry, and Simon Chelugui over illegal overexploitation of upstream resources in Mount Kenya region.
He became a vocal member of parliament and a strong critic of the then President Uhuru Kenyatta for betraying his Deputy William Ruto and shaking hands with opposition leader Uhuru Kenyatta. Rigathi was among the team that was nicknamed Tanga Tanga alongside William Ruto and other rebel leaders of the Jubilee Party. When the team was completely isolated from President Uhuru’s government, Rigathi became one of the founders of a rival party, United Democratic Movement, which President Ruto used to win the 2022 General Elections. In those elections, Rigathi Gachagua became the Deputy President of Kenya.
Rigathi Gachagua’s age is 58 years old. He was born in 1965, just one year after independence.
Rigathi Gachagua is married to Dorcas Wanjiku Rigathi, a retired banker turned into a pastor. The two met at an event held in Nairobi University while they were both students. They got married 1989 and between them they have two sons, Kevin and Keith Gachagua. Kevin is a software engineer while the second born, Keith Keino, is a medical doctor who also runs the family’s businesses.