Policy and Governance expert Gabriel Muthuma has defended the ongoing tiff between Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua and Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja saying the argument is a healthy difference meant to strengthen devolution.
Muthuma's remarks come in the wake of reports of a simmering division between the second in command and Kenya's capital boss over their different opinions on decongesting Nairobi’s Central Business District after the latter announced in December that long-distance matatus will be relocated from the CBD to Green Park terminus.
"Kenya Kwanza espouses democracy and the Rigathi vs Sakaja exchange is a healthy freedom of thought and perspectives nurtured by the party .At the end of it all ,the different perspectives will lead to ideas on how best to restore city’s lost glory and elevate to international status .There’s no love lost between the two leaders and both have mutual respect for each other" said Muthuma
On Tuesday, Sakaja said there were no issues between them as is being portrayed adding that that the Deputy President should discuss the matter with him instead of waging war on the governor in public gatherings.
“I am not in a fight with the deputy president. I respect him as an old man and he is at a higher position than me in terms of the party.There is a way the national government should relate with the county governments, there might be somewhere we disagreed and it would be best for us to sit and discuss instead of taking them to the public.” he said
According to the DP, Sakaja ought to have consulted him before making decisions, which affect the businesses of the people of Mt Kenya - who gave him votes in a race that saw him declared winner against his closest rival and Azimio candidate Polycarp Igathe.
Muthuma however took a swipe at a section of politicians especially those outside the government for fuelling tension between the two leaders who vehemently campaigned together for Kenya Kwanza government in the August 2022 General Elections.
"Some quarters are trying to make a storm out of a tea cup for political expediency. What we see is not an ugly fall out or an implosion in Kenya kwanza but a robust exchange of ideas and constructive criticism.
"Sakaja is a good leader has held many lofty portfolios and knows not to trade barbs with his boss . Equally, DP Rigathi is a vast experienced leader and knows which bounds not to cross ." added the seasoned political analyst
The youthful politician who has risen through the ranks from TNA Chairman to Nairobi senator and now in his current position has lately received the backing of opposition leaders led by his Siaya counterpart James Orengo.
On Monday,Nairobi Senator Edwin Sifuna waded into the debate, telling Gachagua that he is overstepping his mandate as deputy president.
“Article 96 of our Constitution enjoins me as the Senator of Nairobi to be the protector of the interests of counties and their governments. It is this mandate that forces me to now speak on the recent conduct of the deputy president,” part of his statement read.