Though he spoke in undertones, the late Nyeri Governor Wahome Gakuru was a tough-talking man.
After the reign of the late Nderitu Gachagua, a brash governor, Dr Gakuru promised a different kind of leadership.
And he did— mostly projecting an image of a soft-spoken but resilient man.
A day before his death, he had spent the morning with one of his three sons, who is a candidate at Alliance Boys High School.
Every time he took the mic to address the locals, he would start off with “Nii nio Governor Wanyu Dagitari Wahome wa Gakuru” (Its me your governor Dr Wahome Gakuru)
During his swearing-in, he discouraged leaders and locals from calling him “His excellency” until he proves he is worthy of the title.
“Do not refer to me as his excellency until I have fulfilled my promises. Once I have made your lives better you can call me that,” he said.
The PhD holder joined active politics in 2013 when he vied for the gubernatorial seat but lost to the late Nderitu Gachagua.
Gachagua lost his battle for life to pancreatic cancer on February 24 after he succumbed at a London hospital.
Dr Gakuru ran on The National Alliance Party ticket managed 126,776 against Gachagua’s 137,469 votes.
The economist facing only two opponents was the man to beat in the August 8 General Election.
He garnered 242,000 votes against his competitors— former Deputy Governor Samuel Wamathai and Democratic Party candidate Patrick Munene— who garnered 76,055 and 17,008 votes, respectively.
Dr Gakuru had promised to develop Nyeri at a faster pace following years of slow development.
Nyeri’s development has been on the decline since 2014, reports by the Controller of Budget shows.
According to the reports, Nyeri ranked among the bottom five in the last three consecutive financial years in terms of money spent on developmen.
“We are tired of lagging behind and we need to move on,” he told the Nation in an earlier interview.
“I promise to turn things around by constituting a new Cabinet with competent and honest executives.”
He had promised to run a transparent and accountable government.