After a period of over six months since his inauguration, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has finally taken up residence in his official dwelling situated in Karen.
Former President Mwai Kibaki's administration oversaw the construction of the Deputy President's official residence on a 10-acre plot of land, amounting to a total expenditure of Sh450 million.
In a notable occasion, Gachagua welcomed Vice President Francia Marquez of Colombia to the Deputy President's Official Residence on Monday. The event saw the presence of various Cabinet Secretaries and high-ranking government officials.
“President Ruto and I warmly welcome you. This is home, the land of hustlers.” DP Rigathi Gachagua hosts the Vice President of Colombia, Francia Elena Marquez Mina, for bilateral talks at the Official Karen Residence in Nairobi. pic.twitter.com/ImE2tOQgQK— The Standard Digital (@StandardKenya) May 15, 2023
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It was the first official function there by the DP since President William Ruto moved to State House after his swearing-in.
Gachagua has been performing official duties at Harambee Annex, the DP's office along Harambee Avenue in Nairobi Central Business District.
He has also been living at his private Karen residence since he was sworn in as the country's second in command.
''It was a pleasure hosting the Colombian Vice President Francia Marquez for political discussions at the Deputy President's official residence in Karen, Nairobi, which culminated in the signing of MoUs and Declarations for collaboration and cooperation,'' Gachagua wrote on his social media pages on Monday.
It is not clear if Gachagua will shift his operations completely from Harambee House Annex to the official Karen residence.
Gachagua is the second DP to occupy the expansive residence after Ruto, who had christened it the hustlers' mansion.
Former Vice President Moody Awori was meant to be the house's first occupant, but delays in completing its construction saw him retiring without moving in.
Kalonzo Musyoka, too, left the vice presidency without having occupied the house whose construction tender was awarded in 2005.
Kibaki officially opened the residence in November 2012. In March, Gachagua said he was yet to move into the official Karen residence because the house was leaking.
"The official residence of the Deputy President was in bad shape when I became Deputy President. The rooftop was leaking, the borehole pump was broken down, and the house was totally in bad shape," he said.
Gachagua was speaking during an interview with Mt Kenya vernacular radio stations.
According to Gachagua, the Office of the Deputy President lacked the funds and finances to facilitate maintenance and repairs.
He alleged that Ruto financed his office for four years in the last term as Deputy President and had to personally cater for electricity bills, fuel and accommodation for his staff whenever he was in transit.
Last September, Gachagua mentioned that leaving his home had proven difficult due to his attachment to the house and the memories it holds.
"I have such an emotional attachment to this home, my children grew up here, and my parents lived with me here for many years," Gachagua.
"It is very nostalgic for me to walk away from a home where I have lived for 24 years."