Ruto allies in Senate hatch plot to scuttle Kindiki ouster
Hillary Mageka @hillarymageka
Deputy President William Ruto’s allies in Senate have hatched a plot to scuttle the removal from office of Tharaka Nithi Senator Kithure Kindiki as Deputy Speaker, People Daily has learned.
This is even as MPs largely affiliated to Ruto yesterday took on Jubilee Party leadership over what they have termed as mounting intimidation of dozens of leaders in order to change their stand on critical political 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.
In their spirited efforts to save Senator Kindiki, DP’s camp has identified Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen, Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika and their Kericho counterpart Aaron Cheruiyot to take on the newly-crowned Majority Whip Senator Irungu Kang’ata once he tables the motion.
Sources that spoke in confidence said Ruto’s lieutenants camp plan to challenge the motion by proposing a select committee to probe the allegations to be levelled against Prof Kindiki on his conduct as Deputy Speaker.
They are also contemplating denying the House quorum which will essentially mean the motion will be defended.
“We will use all means 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 the People Daily.
A section of DP’s allies have termed the ongoing brutal purge in Parliament as aimed at kicking out all Ruto’s supporters from key positions.
According to Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei, the firing of Kindiki as Deputy Speaker has nothing to do with competency, capacity, ability or meritocracy, but it is because of political persuasion.
“From where I sit, Kindiki 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 what he called evil imaginations of the Executive.
“I know my colleagues at the Senate are ladies and gentlemen of reason and will make their judgment based on merit.
But personally, I will oppose any attempt to kick out the Deputy Speaker of the Senate,” he added.
His Laikipia counterpart John Kinyua, another key ally of the DP, accused 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,” he said.
But Kang’ata has defended himself against the accusation saying he had solid grounds why he was pushing for Kindiki’s ouster.
Top on his list, he says, the Tharaka Nithi senator was among the members of Jubilee Party who did not attend the party’s parliamentary group meeting at State House despite being notified.
He said Kindiki 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 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.
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.
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.