Coffee Cartels Poisoned My Brother Nderitu Gachagua – Rigathi Reveals

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua said on Sunday that his family believes the dangerous, deep-pocketed coffee cartel poisoned his late brother, Nderitu Gachagua, causing his decline in health and eventual death.

Gachagua was speaking during an interview on Inooro TV’s Kiririmbi show, shortly after a two-day coffee summit in Meru ended.

Despite the risks, he stated that the government is committed to defeating the coffee cartel that has a stranglehold on Kenyan farmers in order to re-establish the sector’s profitability.

DP Rigathi Gachagua
DP Rigathi Gachagua

“Our family believes, and we know the late Nderitu Gachagua was poisoned by those people,” Gachagua told Inooro TV’s Michael Njenga. 

“And since then, a very healthy person started becoming sickly and we believe these people harmed him,” 

According to Gachagua, the coffee cartels that have fleeced Kenyan farmers dry over the years in collusion with dubious government operatives have previously operated by bribing top government operatives in order to stay in power.

He said that despite selling one sack of coffee abroad for as much as 1000 USD, (approximately  Ksh. 138,943),  the cartels and brokers who also act as marketers only give the famer a measly USD 200 (approximately 27,788) per bag further whittled down by the current exchange rates.  

“The farmer is paid in shillings although the coffee is sold abroad in dollars,  the farmer loses a further Ksh. 6 or 7 due to exchange rates because this industry has been seized by very sneaky  peoople who are very well moneyed,” Gachagua. 

He said the danger posed by the cartels is so serious efforts to battle it can only be led by the president and himself because of their added security and resources. 

“The president assigned me the task of leading these people because at least I have more resources including security because these people are not good people,“ DP Gachagua said. 

“The president asked me to gather several CSs, we have CS Kuria, Agriculture CS Mithika Linturi and Co-operatives and Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises Development  CS Chelugui,” 

“This war cannot be won by governors, this can only be won by DP and the president, these people; are dangerous and can even kill you,”

During the same interview, Gachagua claimed that when President Ruto announced his cabinet, the coffee cartels sent an emissary to Agriculture CS Mithika Linturi, with a hefty Ksh.30 million ‘welcome gift’. 

“They tried to bribe our CS, Mithika Linturi with Ksh.30 million when our government came into power,” Gachagua added. 

“They said the money was from these cartels, and that it was a welcome gift to him,” 

Gachagua went on to say that since the Embu Governor outed the people behind the cartels, her security at her homes in Nairobi and Embu has been beefed up to ensure her safety. 

He further told Inooro TV that after the cartels were outed, they spent the following day in central Kenya with bags of money in attempts to bribe lawmakers in their favour. 

“After they were outed , they spent the next day trying to bribe our leaders in order to vouch for them, there is one who has been been very vocal and we believe they may have been bribed, we are investigating,” he added. 

Meanwhile, DP Gachagua has stated that the government will implement the recommendations from the two-day coffee summit in Meru after they have been fine-tuned by a select team comprised of stakeholders in the sector.

Part of the recommendations to breathe new life into the former glorious sector include reestablishing the Coffee Board of Kenya as proposed in the Coffee Bill 2023.

Other recommendations include the construction of coffee aggregation centers to improve the quality of coffee, as well as the empowerment of the Pest Control Board to regulate pesticides and fight coffee diseases. 

The recommendations will be acted on in the next 90 days. 

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