NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 2 – The body of the immediate former Nyeri Governor, Nderitu Gachagua, arrived in the country Thursday from the United Kingdom where he died while undergoing treatment for pancreatic cancer.
The plane carrying the body touched down at the Jomo Kenyatta International airport shortly before 5am where it was received by members of the Council of Governors led by new Nyeri Governor, Samuel Wamathai.
Rigathi Gachagua, a brother to the late governor, was accompanied from London by Kenya’s ambassador to the UK Lazarus Amayo and Governors Ken Lusaka (Bungoma), Jack Ranguma (Kisumu), David Nkedienye (Kajiado), Joseph Ndathi (Kirinyaga), John Nyangarama (Nyamira) and Paul Chepkwony (Kericho).
Speaking during a brief gathering at the airport following the arrival of the body, Rigathi extended an olive branch to Members of the Nyeri County Assembly who may have differed politically with his brother, saying they are invited to attend his burial on Monday.
He said the family held no grudge against any of the MCAs who sought to have Gachagua impeached, adding that the family will receive them with open arms.
“Gachagua was a politician and may have had differences with people but those matters are forgotten by the family,” he said. “I called the County Assembly Speaker and told him that members should feel welcome. We say so with an open heart.”
While relaying his message of condolence to the family, the country’s envoy to the UK mourned Gachagua as a selfless leader committed to improving the welfare of the people of Nyeri.
“When President Uhuru Kenyatta received the news of the passing of the governor as a leader he had compassion and asked the Embassy to facilitate the smooth repatriation of the governor’s remain,” Ambassador Amayo said.
His sentiments were also echoed by Devolution Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri who described the late Gachagua as a true friend and a visionary leader.
Nyeri Senator Mutahi Kagwe commended the CoG for supporting Gachagua’s family since he passed away February 24.
Other leaders at the airport were Governors Joshua Irungu (Laikipia), Mwangi wa Iria (Murang’a), William Kabogo (Kiambu), Okoth Obado (Migori), Ukur Yattani (Marsabit), Othaya MP Mary Wambui, her Tetu counterpart Ndung’u Gethenji as well as Nyeri Town MP Esther Murugi.
Gachagua will be laid to rest at his Mathira home.