Nyeri Governor James Nderitu Gachagua died Friday morning at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London while undergoing treatment for pancreatic cancer, his brother Rigathi Gachagua said.
Governor Gachagua, who left for the London hospital late 2016, has died aged 64. He was born on July 29, 1953 in Mathira Constituency, Nyeri County.
Below are six things to know about the late county chief Nderitu Gachagua:
Governor Gachagua holds two degrees from the University of Nairobi – a Bachelor’s Degree in Law and, another, a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Building Economics.
He attended Ingorano Primary School, later Nyeri High School and thereafter, went for his A-levels at the then-Kenyatta College, which is now known as Kenyatta University.
Governor Gachagua is survived by wife, ex-Nyakiambi Girls’ High School Principal and ex-Kagumo Teachers College lecturer, Margaret Karungaru Nderitu and four children (two sons and two daughters).
Survived impeachment attempt
The motion to impeach Nderitu Gachagua was moved by Kiganjo ward MCA Baragua Mutahi and seconded by Karatina ward MCA Joel Gichuru in September, 2016.
32 of the 46 MCAs supported the motion. This impeachment motion saw the MCAs camp overnight in the chambers as they awaited debate on the motion.
The MCAs accused Gachagua of misappropriation of public funds and abuse of office following revelations by the controller of budget that over KSh800 million from the 2015/2016 financial year could not be accounted for.
The MCAs also accused the governor of dictatorial leadership claiming that he refused to be questioned over his alleged financial improprieties.
One of Nyeri’s wealthiest political figures
Gachagua is one of the wealthiest political personalities in Nyeri County. He had vast interest in Real Estate business, hotel business and farming.
Among his investments include Olive Gardens in the plush Nairobi’s Hurlingham area.
Served as National Housing Corporation Chief Quantity Surveyor
Governor Gachagua, who holds a Bachelor’s degree in Building Economics, practiced in the field for long, before venturing into active politics.
He served as an Assistant Quantity Surveyor at the Ministry of Public Works between 1977 and 1982. Thereafter, he served as Provincial Quantity Surveyor between 1982 and 1983.
Gachagua was then promoted to the position of Chief Quantity Surveyor at the National Housing Corporation between 1983 and 1987.
Gachagua thereafter ventured into private practice as a Quantity Surveyor between 1987 and 2002. He also started his Quantity Survey firm Jagar Consultants, which he managed until his death.
Joined active politics in 2002
Governor Gachagua was elected Mathira MP in 2002, a position he served until January 2013, when he launched a bid for Nyeri Governor on a Grand National Union (GNU) ticket ahead of the March 4 general elections. He won Nyeri Governor Seat, a position he held until his death.