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Inside DP allies’ plot to scuttle removal of Kindiki as Deputy Speaker

By Hillary Mageka
Thursday, May 21st, 2020
Senate Deputy Speaker Kindiki Kithure.

Deputy President William Ruto’s allies in Senate have hatched a plot to scuttle the removal from office of Tharaka Nithi Senator Prof Kithure Kindiki as Deputy Speaker, People Daily has learnt.

This is even as MPs largely affiliated to DP Ruto yesterday took on Jubilee Party hierarchy over what they have termed as mounting horror, harassment and intimidation of dozens of leaders in order to forcefully extract their support for certain illegitimate positions and decisions.

“These illegal decisions range from unprocedural removal of House leaders in the Senate as well as irregular and improper changes in the structures and organs of the party contrary to the party’s own constitution and the political parties act,” the 11 MPs said in a statement read by South Mugirango MP Sylvanus Osoro (KNC).

“This wanton impunity has been accompanied with the use of terror to coerce nominated senators into pledging loyalty and support for lawless and unconstitutional decisions,” they added.

According to them, the “horrifying actions” are a continuation of a determination of certain forces in this country to push Kenya along a dangerous trajectory.

In their last efforts to save Senator Kindiki, DP’s camp has identified Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen, Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika and her Kericho counterpart Senator Aaron Cheruiyot to take on the newly crowned Majority Whip Senator Irungu Kang’ata once he tables the motion.

Sources who spoke on confidence said DP’s camp plans to challenge the motion by proposing a select committee to probe the allegations to be levelled against Senator Kindiki on his conduct as deputy speaker.

The allies are also contemplating denying the House quorum which will essentially mean the motion will be defeated.

“We will use all remains to ensure that Kindiki remains our deputy speaker. On this, we are taking a bipartisan approach together with our colleagues from NASA coalition,” a senator who sought anonymity told People Daily.

A section of DP’s allies have termed the ongoing brutal purge in parliament as political persuasion and elimination by Uhuru’s men.

According to Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei, the firing of Prof Kithure as deputy speaker has nothing to do with competency, capacity, ability or meritocracy, but it is because of political persuasion.

“From where I sit, Prof Kindiki Kithure has distinguished himself not only as a legal scholar but one of the best legislative minds who has discharged his duties,” he said.

Cherargei, who chairs the Senate committee on Justice and Legal affairs, said the Senate being a “House of reason” will raise against the evil imaginations of the executive.

“I know my colleagues at the Senate are ladies and gentlemen of reason and will make their judgment this afternoon based on merit. But personally, I will oppose any attempt to kick out Prof Kithure Kindiki as deputy speaker of the senate,” he added.

His Laikipia counterpart John Kinyua, another key ally of the DP, accused the mover of the motion, Muranga’s Irungu Kang’ata of being used to settle political scores by their opponents.

“The mover of the motion has not raised any issues or allegation against the deputy speaker and convinced us why we should kick him out,” Senator Kinyua.

“He (Kindiki) should give an opportunity to defend himself before a verdict is given. Though the die has been cast, I am a bit reserved to vote in favour of the motion,” he added saying sometimes rules are meant to be broken.

According to him, Kindiki has been non-partisan in controlling the debate in the house and has done his job exemplary well and the best Jubilee Party would do is to congratulate him for a well done not removing him from his position.

But Majority Whip Irungu Kang’ata has defended himself against the accusation saying he many grounds why he seeking for Kindiki’s ouster.

Top on his list, the Tharaka Nithi Senator was among the members of Jubilee Party who did not attend the Jubilee coalition Parliamentary group at State House.

Despite being notified, Kang’ata said he failed to attend and to date he has not offered any apology for his non-attendance.

“Kindiki’s defiance was when he skipped the PG which he was aware of forcing the Jubilee party to crack the whip on him,” He told a press conference at Parliament buildings on Wednesday,

“I have firm instructions as Chief Whip to punish any senator who did not attend the state House meeting,” he added.

According to him, Jubilee is only punishing its members who are defying the party and its leadership.

“If you defy the party leader, we will punish you by enforcing the law,” he added.

He accused some unnamed senators of constantly attacking, undermining and disrespecting the President, who doubles as the Jubilee party leader and even publicly contradicted the party position.

They included five nominated senators whom he claim have not render any apologies, however, the party will consider their pleas.

“I am waiting for party instructions, we will enforce discipline in the party,” he poured.

At least 48 Senators, more than the two-thirds (45) required to remove the holder of the office have signed the petition.

Being a constitutional office, to oust Kindiki as deputy speaker will require at least 45 senators out of the possible 67.

With the 48 signatures, Kindiki's fate is as good as sealed as it only requires 45 senators to kick him out.

Article 106 (2) of the Constitution stipulates that two-thirds of the members of a House of Parliament are required to remove a deputy speaker.

The new numbers demonstrate the President’s numerical strength that is buoyed with his new political partners including ODM leader Chief Raila Odinga could easily pass an impeachment motion only against Deputy Speaker but also his deputy William Ruto.

The DP Ruto's allies have claimed that an impeachment motion against the second in command is the President's end game.

The Tharaka-Nithi senator is a confidant of the DP and one of his point men in the vote-rich Mt Kenya region.

The lawmaker was at some point touted as a possible running mate for Ruto in 2022.

Senators have been called for a special sitting this afternoon to debate the motion for the removal of Kindiki as Deputy Speaker.

Under Gazette notice No. 3649, Speaker Kenneth Lusaka said the business specified shall be the only one before the Senate during the Special Sitting.

“Notice is given to all Senators that pursuant to standing order 30 of the Senate Standing Orders, on the request of the Senate Majority Leader, and with the support of requisite number of senators, I have appointed Friday, 22nd May, 2020 as a day for a Special Sitting of the Senate,” the notice reads.

The Special Sitting is to be held in the Senate Chamber at 2.30 p.m. until conclusion of the business of the day.

After the sitting, the Senate will be adjourned until May 26, 2020.

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