MPs clash over calls for DP Ruto to quit government
Anthony Mwangi and Mercy Mwai
The 2022 succession politics moved a notch higher yesterday when rival Members of Parliament clashed over Deputy President William Ruto’s position in the government.
Whereas MPs allied to President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga asked Ruto to resign for allegedly disrespecting the President, those supporting the DP dared the Head of State to dissolve Parliament and call a fresh election.
It all started when the Uhuru-Raila leaning MPs called a press conference and told Ruto to resign from the Jubilee government, accusing him of disrespecting the President.
“The Deputy President is guilty of public misconduct and grave malpractices and has not lived up to the oath of office,” the MPs said in a statement read by Baringo Woman Representative Gladwell Cheruiyot and Kathiani MP Robert Mbui.
They asked Ruto to either shut up or ship out.
“He has not brought honour and dignity to the office of the Deputy President,” they told a press conference at a Nairobi hotel.
The legislators who were drawn from the ODM, Jubilee, Wiper Party and the ANC were led by Nominated MP Maina Kamanda, Kanini Kega (Kieni) and Mercy Gakuya (Kasarani).
But soon after ending their press conference, MPs allied to Ruto called their own press conference and told off their rivals, saying the DP “is not a visitor in the Jubilee government”.
They said the DP will not resign from a government he helped form, saying he was duly elected together with President Uhuru.
The MPs who addressed the media at Parliament Buildings, urged Uhuru to reshuffle the Cabinet and nominate Raila to the position of prime minister or chief minister.
Their statement appeared to be aimed at the Building Bridges Initiative campaign which is being spearheaded by Uhuru and the ODM chief which has, among other things, proposed creation of a post of prime minister.
The Ruto group has expressed reservations over the BBI claiming it was meant to frustrate their man’s presidential ambitions.
Led by Mithika Linturi (Meru Senator), Millicent Omanga (nominated senator), MPs Malulu Injendi (Malava), Moses Kuria (Gatundu South) and Mohamed Ali (Nyali), they dared their colleagues to table an impeachment motion against the DP.
“It is the prerogative of the President to reshuffle cabinet; he can do it anytime... if he wants to bring Raila as the chief minister let him just go ahead instead of all this shenanigans,” they said their statement.
“We are ready for election, we are ready for the government to be dissolved, we are ready to go to the polls,” said Kuria.
During their press conference, the anti-Ruto MPs claimed the DP had declared war against established State institutions, some of them creatures of the Constitution.
The DP, they said, should be the last person to complain against government institutions “at funerals and roadside pronouncements”.
“That ... may as well constitute an offence against public order,” they said.
The group said Ruto’s 2022 presidential ambitions had clouded his role as the President’s principal assistant.
The DP, the statement read, had questioned the capacity and mandate of investigatory and prosecutorial organs of State.
“These persistent attacks have targeted numerous public officers including Interior CS Fred Matiang’i, PS Karanja Kibicho, DCI George Kinoti and DPP Noordin Haji who serve at the core of public service functions and operations,” they said.
The MPs accused Ruto of being dishonest and failing to discharge his duties at the expense of what they said was his “unbridled ambition” for State House.
“With this state of affairs, William Ruto must shape up or ship out. He needs time and undivided attention to pursue the only thing that makes sense and has meaning in his life - dream and campaign for the 2022 presidential elections,” the MPs said.
They accused Ruto of being opposed to BBI, “despite its national and international acclaim and approval”. “The narrative of peace, justice and reconciliation is total anathema to the DP...” said the MPs.
But Kuria told Raila and the ODM brigade that Ruto will not be resigning anytime as he was not anybody’s appointee but was elected into government “just like Uhuru”.
“We hear that they want to bring an impeachment motion against William Ruto, we are telling them, ‘bring it on we are waiting,’” Kuria said.
Linturi and Injendi, who read a written statement on behalf of their colleagues, said Raila’s interests in the Jubilee government is to scuttle it.
Injendi said that as Jubilee MPs they were aware of a planned meeting tomorrow to have the impeachment motion tabled in the National Assembly as well as plans to reconstitute the government so that ODM can be brought to Cabinet.