Legislators vow to shoot down Macharia ouster motion
Anthony Mwangi and Wangari Njuguna
A proposed impeachment motion against Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia is likely to face stiff opposition in Parliament after several legislators vowed to vote against it.
ODM has instructed its members not to support the initiative, which Nyali MP Mohammed Ali is planning to table in Parliament this week.
Ali, an independent MP, wants Macharia impeached for alleged violation of the Constitution by failing to undertake public participation with leaders, stakeholders and departments within the ministry in implementation of a far-reaching policy decision to have all cargo arriving at the Port of Mombasa transported by the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR).
“This has led to widespread public outcry on this matter and a severe, negative impact on the transportation sector in the country with several companies closing down and over 100,000 jobs lost,” Ali says in the motion that will be tabled in the National Assembly this week.
However, the MP’s plan has elicited mixed reactions with the Orange party asking its members not to support the motion.
Minority Whip Junet Mohammed has since written to opposition members not to append their signatures to the motion.
“Our attention has been drawn to a motion being circulated by Hon Mohamed Ali for the purported impeachment of CS Transport James Macharia.
Kindly note that the party/coalition does not support this motion and members are urged to desist from appending signatures to it,” Junet wrote in a text message to his coalition members.
Macharia has himself dared Ali to go ahead with collection of signatures from legislators, saying his efforts will be futile.
The Nyali lawmaker accuses Macharia of disregarding stakeholders in implementation of ministry projects by not conducting public participation or stakeholders engagement meetings.
“Macharia continues forcible evacuation of cargo to Naivasha Inland Container Depot (ICD) disregarding freedom of choice, public participation and infringement of human rights,” reads the motion.
The minister, Ali says, has on numerous occasions misled parliamentary committees on the matter while under oath, hence committing perjury.
Ali adds that the CS is on record having suspended the transportation order, yet the directive is still in force, even with multiple public notices on its suspension being issued by his ministry.
“The inefficiency in his work, therefore, makes him unfit to hold office,” Ali says in the motion which has drawn support from MPs allied to the Tanga Tanga side of the Jubilee Party that supports Deputy President William Ruto.
Kimilili MP Didmus Barasa said the Tanga Tanga faction of the Jubilee will support the motion.
“We have taken a position which is to support Ali’s motion and discipline the CS who has been running the ministry as his own property.”
The Transport CS has, however, said he will not be intimidated by threats to have him impeached.
Speaking in Murang’a during an inspection tour of the proposed Mau Mau road, Macharia said he reads malice from the MP, adding that his move is not genuine.
Macharia claimed the legislator was out to distract him from his work.
“This is not going to shake me because I work under President Uhuru Kenyatta who is the Head of State and I am one of his soldiers,” he said.
“We have two years to go and there is a lot of work to do to fulfill what the government promised to the public,” he remarked.
Murang’a Woman Representative Sabina Chege, Mathioya MP Peter Kimari and his Kiharu counterpart Ndindi Nyoro, who accompanied Macharia, vowed to defend the CS.
The three claimed their colleague is out to propagate his own interests and create a political sideshow.
They vowed to shoot down the motion should it get to the floor of the Assembly.
“We know Macharia as one of the most competent Cabinet secretaries and he has never been involved in any scandal,” said Ndindi.
Chege told the CS to carry on with his work and they would fight the battle on his behalf.
“This is pure politics and we don’t want you to get involved in it at this moment; we shall do what we do best,” she said.