Linturi’s fate in the hands of c*mmittee

Friday, May 3rd, 2024 05:00 | By
Agriculture CS Mithika Linturi speaking when he launched the National Coconut Planting Week in the coastal region at Tezo area, Kilifi County on April 17. PHOTO/Ronald Mwadzombo
Agriculture CS Mithika Linturi speaking when he launched the National Coconut Planting Week in the coastal region at Tezo area, Kilifi County on April 17. PHOTO/Ronald Mwadzombo.

The fate of embattled Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi now lies in the hands of an 11-member committee after lawmakers yesterday voted in support of a motion seeking to have him impeached.

Out of 188 members who were in the house, 149 MPs voted in support of the motion against 36 who opposed it while only three abstained from the vote, thereby meeting the threshold of 117 required to have the committee formed.

Contrary to expectations of many, a majority of MPs from President William Ruto’s Kenya Kwanza coalition ganged up with the Minority side to support the motion by Bumula MP Wamboka Wanami.

The 11 members comprising six from the majority side, four from the minority side and one from the jubilee side will have ten days to investigate the matter and report back to the House to either uphold the motion or reject all the accusations or some.

The 11 members include Deputy Majority Whip and Marsabit Woman Representative Naomi Waqo, Robert Mbui (Kathiani), Rachael Nyamai (Kitui South), Samuel Chepkonga (Ainabkoi), George Murugara (Tharaka), Tom Kajwang (Ruaraka).

Others are Malulu Injendi (Malava), Njeri Maina (Kirinyaga County), Kassim Sawa Tandaza (Matuga), Catherine Omanyo (Busia County) and Yusuf Farah (Wajir West).

“The results of the electronic voting are as follows: Ayes 149, nays 36, abstentions 3, the threshold required to carry the vote is 117, so the vote is carried, the ayes have it,” said National Assembly speaker Moses Wetangula.

Violated constitution

The vote by the legislators was conducted in a session that was characterised by heckling, song and dance with a section member chanting “Linturi must go.”

The MPs from the opposition side mobilized those in support of the government to allow the motion to be passed on grounds that the Linturi had violated various provisions of the constitution.

Following the decision by the MPs, Wetangula told the committee that will investigate Linturi to carry out the proceedings in an open and transparent manner.

He said: “The process is a quasi-judicial matter. Please do it in a transparent manner.”

Earlier Wamboka who moved the motion urged the house to approve his motion on grounds that parliament was the last resort for Kenyans.

In his submissions, Wamboka told the MPs that the motion was not a one-party matter but one that is affecting all Kenyans.

He said: “This motion is indeed about the Kenyan people, it is not an ODM, UDA or Azimio motion, it is about the people of Kenya versus Linturi. It is not a motion against the Meru community, this is a motion that seeks to assist Kenyan farmers who are now not going to harvest because of bad fertiliser.”

Seconded motion

He added: “If Hon Linturi was clear in his mind that he had not done anything wrong, why did he go and prepare a press statement by NCPB to admit liability, it plays a picture of a rogue government official. This is a moral question and not a political matter. It is not about being whipped, it is about standing with the mwananchi, it is about standing with a Rotich and a Wambui in the village.”

Kitutu Chache South MP Anthony Kibagendi who seconded the motion asked the House to support it on grounds that it is was moral issue and not a political one.

He said: “It is prudent we take this matter as a moral issue, we need to demonstrate to Kenyans that we support them.”

Leader of Minority Opiyo Wandayi supported the motion saying he was convinced that Linturi had actually fallen short of the requirements of the constitution.

He claimed that the conduct of the CS as depicted in the submission by Wamboka, points to the situation where he had gone against the national values and principles of governance.

“A person holding the position of CS is not a small person. A CS is a member of the cabinet. A motion of impeachment such as this one is indeed the tool of the last resort all over the world in mature democracies,” said Wandayi.

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