Pro-Ruto MPs ‘hatching’ plot to oust President Uhuru
By Hillary Mageka and Winstone Chiseremi
A group of MPs sensationally claimed yesterday their colleagues allied to Deputy President William Ruto were plotting to impeach President Uhuru Kenyatta.
The claims are likely to widen the cracks in the ruling Jubilee Party between the Kieleweke camp, which backs Uhuru, and pro-Ruto Tanga Tanga faction.
Addressing the press at the Parliament Buildings, the 32 legislators from the Kieleweke faction of Jubilee and ODM claimed Ruto allies were out to oust the President because they were unhappy with his Handshake deal with opposition leader Raila Odinga and its resultant Building Bridges Initiative.
The legislators, who included the Leader of Minority in the National Assembly John Mbadi, Minority Whip Junet Mohammed and Kieni MP Kanini Kega, were reacting to a meeting of more than 100 pro-Ruto MPs who held a two-day retreat in Naivasha at the weekend.
“We are aware one of the issues they discussed in Naivasha is impeachment of the President. We dare them to bring it on,” said Junet.
A press conference that had been organised by Ruto supporters to counter the claims was cancelled at the last minute without explanation. Instead, only Nominated MP David ole Sankok spoke to journalists and dismissed the claims as baseless. He accused the pro-Raila group of trying to whip up emotions.
“How can we impeach our own party leader? Are we mad?” he asked.
He added: “It is not possible and will not be possible even in the future because, even at his retirement, he will remain our party leader.”
Elsewhere, Jubilee leaders from Rift Valley region have vowed to kick out secretary general Raphael Tuju for disowning the Naivasha retreat.
They asked Tuju to apologise for his “shocking remarks” or face the wrath of party members for allegedly showing disrespect to Ruto and other leaders.
But the MPs allied to Uhuru and Raila insisted a plot to impeach Uhuru was one of the issues that was discussed in Naivasha.
Mbadi, who is the Suba North MP, challenged Ruto to stop political “theatrics” and declare his true stand on the BBI.
“The DP needs to clear the air on BBI. This man is not known to support anything in terms of good governance. He does not know what is good or bad,” he said.
Kega called for disciplinary action against Jubilee members who he accused of opposing the President’s agenda.
“They are now planning to impeach our President. They should show cause why disciplinary action should not be taken against them for contravening the party leader,” he said.
The MPs at the press conference included Opiyo Wandayi (Ugunja), Godfrey Osotsi (Nominated), Peter Kaluma (Homa Bay Town), Owen Baya (Kilifi North), Samuel Atandi (Alego-Usonga), Olago Aluoch (Kisumu West), James Nyikal (Seme) and Mark Nyamita (Uriri).
Others were Abdikarim Osman (Fafi), Tom Kajwang’ (Ruaraka), Walter Owino (Awendo), Ahmed Abdisalan (Wajir North), Benard Okoth (Kibra), Elisha Odhiambo (Gem), Hassan Hulufo (Isiolo South), Maalim Kulow (Banisa) Antony Oluoch (Mathare).
Woman Reps Gladys Wanga (Homa Bay), Jerusha Momanyi (Nyamira) and Fatuma Gedi (Wajir) also attended. The senators were Mohammed Faki (Mombasa), Cleophas Malala (Kakamega) and their nominated colleagues Farhiya Abdi, Beatrice Kwamboka, Halakhe Abshiro and Naomi Shiyonga.
They accused Ruto of using his allies to attack the President.
“We encourage Ruto to man up and face the President. This is because the shadow boxing will not do. Let him resign and let the President deliver,” they said in a statement.
But Sankok said ODM leaders can’t teach Jubilee MPs how to respect Uhuru.
“I have defended Uhuru, against ODM. I support him because of his ideologies not Handshake or BBI,” he said.
Murang’a Senator Irungu Kang’ata criticised plans by Ruto allies to hold parallel BBI meetings. “We are not part of the Nakuru group... for us Nakuru group is playing politics,” he said.
And leading the onslaught against Tuju at different venues in Uasin Gishu County, Soy MP Caleb Kositany and Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei accused the party spokesman of treating the Naivasha meeting with disdain.
Kositany defended the Naivasha meeting, saying it was organised by like-minded legislators from across the political divide.
“Tuju should know that the MPs who attended the Naivasha retreat were representing 6.9 million voters. He should stop treating them as joyriders as they have the numbers,” said.
Cherargei accused Tuju of planning to bring down Jubilee before the 2022 election. He claimed Tuju was an ODM mole who was scheming to scuttle DP’s quest to ascend to the presidency.