A section of Nyeri County Assembly representatives have said they will not attend the burial of the late Nderitu Gachagua slated for Monday.
The MCAs said their reason to skip the departed governor’s burial is advised by their security concerns with some claiming they had received death threats.
“We had planned to attend the burial but we will not do that because we have received threats on social media,” said Majority leader Duncan Gituanja.
“Some people have even rejected our messages of condolences claiming we were insincere, owing to our past differences with Gachagua.”
President Uhuru Kenyatta is among top government officials who will be present at the burial ceremony.
The county assembly was at loggerheads with Governor Gachagua’s government for the better part of his tenure, even passing a motion to impeach him, in September 2016, over claims that he had sidelined them in the running of county affairs.
Gachagua was however saved by the Senate after it rejected the impeachment motion and dismissed all the charges brought against him by Nyeri MCAs.
A section of MCAs had in May the same year set out a plan to remove the governor from office over health concerns claiming he was unfit to hold office.
This came after Gachagua missed the burial of the former first lady Lucy Kibaki in May.
The plan did not succeed.
Gachagua passed on at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London last Friday while undergoing treatment for pancreatic cancer.
The governor’s brother, Rigathi Gachagua said that Nderitu died at 2:15am with close family members by his bed.
Rigathi is quoted by Daily Nation saying: “He (Governor Gachagua) has left us after a long struggle with pancreatic cancer. It is very sad for the family but we have accepted God’s will.”
Gachagua had been out of the country several times since his election, flying to India and London for treatment.
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has said they will not hold a by-election to replace Gachagua with Nyeri deputy governor Samuel Wamathai taking over as acting governor until August 8, 2017 when the General Election will be held.
Meanwhile, Gachagua’s body arrived at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) on Thursday at around 5am accompanied by his daughters Susan and Mercy and other family members.
The body was received by Gachagua’s widow Margaret Karugaru, acting governor Samuel Wamathai, and other leaders.
A short prayer was held before the body was taken to Lee Funeral Home.